Bevin Claims Louisville Planned Parenthood Performing Abortions Without License
Governor Matt Bevin did not mince words in a post to social media about abortions being performed at a Planned Parenthood facility in Louisville.
"Today we learned that Planned Parenthood of Louisville is providing abortions without a license," Bevin said in a post to Facebook and Twitter. "According to KRS 216B.990, it is against Kentucky law for any unlicensed abortion facility to perform these horrific procedures. We will use the full force of the law to end this and hold them accountable."
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky announced on Thursday that it began offering abortion services at its new offices in Louisville, WFPL reported:
Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said the new center still offers all the other services that were available at its previous site.
“We decided in looking at our entire array of services at our existing location that it made sense to do a relocation and expand services there in Louisville and try to meet what we believe is an unmet need in that part of Kentucky for the whole array of reproductive health care services,” Cockrum said.
The Planned Parenthood clinic will now be the second abortion provider in Louisville, along with the downtown EMW Women’s Surgical Center on Market Street. The only other clinic providing this service in Kentucky is located in Lexington, and it does so on a part-time basis.
The Louisville Planned Parenthood clinic now offers nonsurgical abortions for women up to 8 weeks and 6 days of their pregnancy term, and a 13-week, 6-day window for surgical abortions. Cockrum said those services will be in addition to the many birth control and preventative health care services they currently offer.
She said Planned Parenthood officials considered the matter carefully before deciding to include surgical and non-surgical abortions (those induced by medication) among the health services at the new site on Seventh Street.
"It's a very important decision and absolutely you have to give much careful thought to it," Cockrum said.
Kentucky previously had only one abortion provider, a private clinic in Louisville that also operates a part-time clinic in Lexington.
Meanwhile, also on Thursday, a so-called "informed consent" bill cleared the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate.
A consultation between a woman seeking an abortion and a health care provider would have to occur during an in-person meeting or through real-time video conferencing under a bill approved Thursday night.
The video conference option was added to Senate Bill 4 by the House Health and Welfare Committee shortly before the bill cleared the House on a 92-3 vote. Only in-person, face-to-face consultation would have satisfied the state’s informed consent requirement under the original bill, sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville) which the Senate approved by a 32-5 vote last week.
SB 4 now returns to the Senate for consideration of the House changes.
Kentucky law already requires information be provided at least 24 hours before an abortion, but that information is often given over the phone, say supporters of SB 4.
House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, who successfully moved for passage of a floor amendment to correct an error in the bill before the House floor vote, said that moving SB 4 through the process “has been a battle.”
“It’s a tough issue for a lot of people. Many people believe very strongly on both sides of the issue,” said Hoover. “To be singled out as we are many times for particular issues from those who oppose our point of view—that’s not an easy thing to do. But there are good people with strong principles on both sides of this issue.”
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, called SB 4 a “remedy” that would allow women to receive information without creating an additional financial burden on them at an already difficult time.
“If you believe that (the informed consent law) hasn’t been adhered to because … information is given electronically via telephone… then this is the way to remedy that, and it’s a way to remedy it in a manner that’s fair to people that live all across Kentucky,” said Stumbo.
-Staff report, with information on SB 4 from the Legislative Research Commission