The state of Kentucky is slated to have a second abortion provider beginning in March, after Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s administration approved a Louisville Planned Parenthood’s provisional license on January 24th. This allows the facility to offer abortions temporarily until an unannounced inspection takes place to ensure that state safety laws are followed. Presumably, a full license would then be granted if the inspection is passed.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) initially applied for a surgical abortion license in 2015, but was twice denied a license by Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s administration — the first time in December 2015, because Planned Parenthood did not comply with a Kentucky law requiring abortion facilities to have a transport agreement with an ambulance service and a local hospital to care for patients in case of emergency. That commonsense law was struck down by a federal judge in 2018 and is being appealed.
The second license application denial came in January 2016 after Planned Parenthood committed 23 abortions between December 3, 2015, and January 28, 2016, without a license of any kind. Planned Parenthood argued that former Democratic Governor Steve Beshear’s administration had given the okay for them to provide abortions without even a provisional license, with a plan for an unannounced inspection to take place before a license would be granted. Notably, Governor Steve Beshear, predecessor to Matt Bevin, is current Governor Andy Beshear’s father.
Kentucky’s only other abortion provider, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, is also located in Louisville. EMW operated two abortion facilities in Kentucky until 2017, when its Lexington facility was closed due to operating without a license and findings of “dirty conditions and expired medicines” during an inspection. According to reports at CheckMyClinic.org, safety inspections conducted by the state found that the Louisville location failed to perform TB skin tests on some staff to check for tuberculosis exposure, failed to document training and in-services for some staff, failed to properly store narcotic medications with high potential for addiction, had dried blood on a sharps container in a treatment room, had expired medications and supplies at the facility, and much more. And, in 2010, Live Action released footage from an undercover investigation showing EMW Lousiville staff “ignoring the sexual abuse of a child and giving misleading abortion counseling.”
In short, Kentucky abortion facilities don’t have a good track record. Another abortion facility may provide more abortion “access,” but it isn’t going to make abortion safe for women.
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