- Associated Press - Friday, July 1, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A judge in Louisville has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration seeking to fine Planned Parenthood for performing abortions at its Louisville facility.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry ruled on Thursday that Planned Parenthood had been given approval to perform abortions at its new facility from state regulators under Kentucky’s former governor.

Perry ruled the facility was not violating any laws, WDRB-TV reported (http://bit.ly/299zazk).

The lawsuit was filed in February by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It accused Planned Parenthood of illegally performing 23 abortions in December and January. It argued Planned Parenthood’s application with the state was deficient and regulators sought nearly $700,000 in fines.

Bevin, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican, ordered abortions halted at the downtown facility in January after learning that it was performing the procedures. Bevin was outraged over the news, saying the facility had shown “brazen disregard” for the law.

“We will certainly appeal this troubling decision and will continue making every effort to enforce the clear laws of Kentucky, like the one requiring all abortion facilities to be properly licensed,” Bevin’s press Amanda Stamper wrote in a statement Friday.

In his ruling, Perry wrote that Planned Parenthood had “consistent communication” with the cabinet both before and after it began performing abortions on Dec. 3.

“Based simply on a change in Cabinet personnel, it defies reason that an abortion facility which opened based on the approval of the (state cabinet) may be then said to have willfully violated the law by the same cabinet,” Perry wrote.

Planned Parenthood has an application pending before state regulators to perform abortions and “depending on how that goes, we may have further litigation,” said Planned Parenthood’s attorney, Thomas Clay.

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