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Louisville Planned Parenthood Halts Abortion Services After State Order

J. Tyler Franklin

This story has been updated.

The state inspector general ordered the Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky to immediately cease providing abortion on Thursday, the same day the organization announced it had begun offering the services.

In response, the Planned Parenthood chapter notified the state on Friday that it would stop providing abortions for the time being.

In a letter sent Thursday to LaToya Rose, director of the Planned Parenthood chapter, acting Inspector General Stephanie Hold said that the organization’s application for an abortion license had been found "deficient."

In Kentucky, abortion facilities are required to have an agreement with an acute care hospital and an ambulance service that can provide treatment for abortion patients who have complications during the procedure.

Planned Parenthood applied for a license to provide abortions on Nov. 25 and were notified Thursday that their application had been denied.

The Louisville Planned Parenthood clinic began providing abortion services on Jan. 21. The organization said on Friday that it received “assurance” from the Office of the Inspector General in the form of emails received on Dec. 1 and Dec. 7.

The inspector general said in the letter that Planned Parenthood’s documentation of an emergency hospital and ambulance service were inadequate.

“The absence of adequate written agreements with an acute care hospital and a local ambulance service prevent us from continuing our review of your application at this time,” the letter said.

Suzannah Wilson Overholt, chief operating officer of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, has informed the inspector general's office that the organization "will refrain from performing any abortion procedures until your office has conducted a survey of the facility in which we demonstrate appropriate compliance."

On Thursday, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky announced that the organization had begun providing abortions at its Louisville facility. Previously, there were only two abortion providers in the state.

The announcement drew immediate backlash from Gov. Matt Bevin, who said the facility didn’t have a license to provide abortions. He said his administration would “use the full force of the commonwealth to put a stop to this.”

In a statement given to Insider Louisville on Thursday, the Planned Parenthood chapter said it had “applied for an abortion facility license and commenced services under the guidance of the Office of the Inspector General, the state office that is responsible for licensing health facilities.”

The inspector general’s letter from Thursday shows that Planned Parenthood applied for an abortion license on Nov. 19, 2015; the organization says it began offering abortions on Jan. 21, 2016.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky did not return requests for comment.

Also on Thursday, the state House overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to meet with a doctor at least 24 hours before the procedure, either in person or via video conference.