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Kentucky orders Louisville abortion clinic closed

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The state has ordered a Planned Parenthood facility to halt abortions, saying the Louisville clinic needs an agreement with a hospital that could take in women who have complications from a procedure.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said in a statement that the facility was "openly and knowingly operating an unlicensed abortion facility in clear violation of the law."

Kentucky has abortion clinics in Louisville and Lexington, the state's two largest cities. State officials said in the letter to Planned Parenthood that its Nov. 19 application to begin performing abortions at its Louisville facility is deficient.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said in a letter to health officials Friday afternoon that it would work to correct the problems so it can resume services at the Louisville center. The letter to the state Cabinet for Family and Health Services said the facility received assurances from state officials in early December — before Bevin took office — that it could begin providing abortions.

The action by the state comes as lawmakers will potentially vote next week the state's informed consent law, taking up a version allowing real-time video consultations between doctors and women at least 24 hours before an abortion.

Since 1998, Kentucky law has required women meet with a doctor before an abortion. But the bill's supporters say some doctors have circumvented that requirement by having patients listen to a recorded message on the phone with no interaction with the doctor.

The measure is scheduled for Senate action on Monday, when the chamber will decide whether to accept House changes, Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said Friday.


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