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Kentucky’s notorious anti-abortion crusader, Republican Matt Bevin, was soundly defeated at the ballot box in last November’s gubernatorial election. He conceded to Democrat Andy Beshear, who is on record supporting Roe v. Wade. 

Politicians are supposed to represent their constituents, and the majority of Kentuckians do support safe and legal abortion. Bevin’s ousting is proof that supporters of reproductive rights can make a difference with their votes!

This win couldn’t have come at a better time for Kentuckian supporters of reproductive rights, and the fight for abortion to remain legal nationwide. As other states are losing access and health centers that are able to offer abortion care dwindle in numbers, Planned Parenthood is making a stand in Kentucky.

Abortion access has long been a struggle in the commonwealth. Thirty years ago, Kentucky had eleven abortion clinics, and that number has fallen, decade by decade, due to attacks and restrictions passed by anti-choice politicians (former Gov. Bevin among them).

Most recently, in early 2017, Kentucky briefly became one of five states in the U.S. completely lacking abortion access. Currently, we are one of six states in the U.S. with only one abortion provider – EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville. Under Governor Bevin, other reproductive health clinics, including Planned Parenthood health centers, were repeatedly denied licenses to provide abortions in the commonwealth – despite meeting state-mandated licensing requirements. 

However, following the positive outcome of last year’s gubernatorial election, 2020 has started off strong for Kentuckians who care about access to abortion services. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services invited us to reapply to become a licensed abortion provider in Kentucky and acknowledged in writing that the previous administration denied Planned Parenthood’s license improperly. That led to the frivolous and unfounded lawsuit that the Bevin administration had filed against Planned Parenthood being dropped.

Planned Parenthood promptly reapplied for our license to provide abortion care in Kentucky, and a provisional license has been granted! We expect to begin providing care in March and that shortly thereafter we’ll pass our required inspection and be granted a full license for care. This doubles the number of abortion providers in Kentucky, and we’re just getting started.

Tags: Abortion, Kentucky

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