A Planned Parenthood clinic in Louisville will resume providing abortions in March after former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin ordered a stop on abortions at the clinic in 2016. The clinic received a provisional license from the state in January permitting it to provide a full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortions.
This will make the clinic only the second abortion provider in Kentucky. In a statement, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Chris Charbonneau said, “Kentucky has gone from one abortion provider to two, which is a significant win for reproductive health care in the state. Abortion access in Kentucky and across the country is at great risk, so while this is a step forward, the fight is far from over.”
Abortion was a key issue in the 2019 gubernatorial race. For Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R), a severe opponent of abortion access, lost his reelection bid to current pro-choice Gov. Andy Beshear (D), who took office on December 10. In January, the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced that it would be rescinding its refusal to grant the Louisville clinic a license to provide abortions.
This victory follows nearly four years of legal battles between Planned Parenthood and the Bevin administration. The administration filed a lawsuit in early 2016 claiming that Planned Parenthood was illegally providing abortions without a license, despite the organization providing records demonstrating otherwise. In 2017, the Bevin administration also sought to shut down the state’s only other abortion provider, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, but a federal judge blocked that attempt.
Anti-choice legislators continue to push bans and limits on abortion in Kentucky. The state has passed six such bills in the last three years.
Sources: The Washington Post 1/31/20; LEX 18 1/31/20; Courier Journal 1/31/20