2020 began with some victories in Kentucky. Kentucky went from one abortion provider to two: the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, and Planned Parenthood, both in Louisville.
Under former 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. It has been a long and difficult fight.
With new leadership, Planned Parenthood was invited to apply for its provisional abortion license once again. It was quickly granted, and soon after the Louisville Planned Parenthood resumed providing abortion services in March 2020.
“To see Kentucky go from one provider to two this year is a win and a step forward, not only for abortion access in Kentucky, but across the nation,” said a Louisville health center clinician.
The reinstatement of abortion services at Planned Parenthood did not occur without backlash, however.
In addition, the Louisville City Council rejected an ordinance that would have provided safety guidance and restrictions on large protest activity around health centers such as Planned Parenthood.
Abortion access is threatened in many states, especially with the newest Supreme Court Justice, Amy Coney Barrett.
This is greatly concerning for abortion access in the commonwealth; HB 67 passed in March, which changed the state constitution to make abortion illegal if Roe v Wade were overturned.
Several other anti-abortion bills were passed in Kentucky this past year, including HB 142, which restricts public funds from use in abortion or abortion-related health care, SB 90, which gives physicians the right to refuse care to a patient who has had an abortion, and HB 451, which increases the stringency of unnecessary and burdensome restrictions related to the physical layout, equipment and staffing where abortion is performed.
Now more than ever, it’s important to show our opponents that we will never back down and never stop fighting for a person’s right to make medical decisions about their own body.
All people in Kentucky – and everywhere – deserve to make their own pregnancy decisions and have access to safe and legal abortion.
To support bastions of reproductive health access like Louisville, and to help Planned Parenthood fight with everything we’ve got, please donate here.