“Misguided” changes weakening Virginia’s regulations of abortion clinics likely to be adopted October 24

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe

So long as pro-abortion (and Hillary Clinton confidante) Terry McAuliffe is governor, you know there would never be a let-up in his campaign to gut regulations that upgraded safety requirement for abortion clinics in Virginia.

Thus, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch told us last month there were “mistakes in the regulatory process of putting those potential amendments,” the conclusion was and is inevitable: two weeks from yesterday a special session of a stacked State of Health Board is “likely to vote in favor of rolling back abortion facility restrictions,” to quote NBC 29.

As NRL News Today reported previously, while running for governor, McAuliffe made no bones about his intentions. He was determined to change the regulations which were passed in light of a 2011 law that required abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers, if they provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The regulations addressed such issues as building standards, staff training, sanitation, and equipment standards.

Last month’s “error” was in acting as if the changes had already been approved. A vote was schedule to take place Thursday September 15 but was put off until a date (prior to December 1) was settled on.

According to Katie Demeria of the Richmond-Times-Dispatch, on September 14, the Department of Health recommended the delay after the Virginia Assembly’s Joint Commission of Administrative Rules found “mistakes” in the regulatory process.

“As (Marissa J. Levine, state health commissioner) acknowledged to the Joint Commission of Administrative Rules yesterday in their meeting, some mistakes were made at the staff level within the department,” said Joe Hilbert, director of governmental and regulatory affairs with the Department of Health, during a break in Thursday’s [September 15] meeting.

The mistakes included a failure to include all public comments in what is supposed to be a complete summary of comments made publicly available and distributed to board members five days before the scheduled meeting at which a vote is expected.

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The department also filed a Final Regulation Agency Background document that referred to Thursday’s meeting in the past tense, as though the board members already had voted to approve the amendments to abortion clinic regulations. The Department of Health since has updated its document, correcting its language about the vote and including summaries of comments it received both for and against the proposed amendments. [Emphasis added.]

The September 15 meeting was packed with pro-abortionists who supported the changes. But there were critics who did not attend. Demeria wrote

According to the board’s updated Final Regulation Agency Background document, it received several comments asking the board to keep the current guidelines in place, or to further restrict abortion access in the state.

House Majority Leader Del. M. Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights, released a statement after the decision to postpone the vote, applauding the joint commission for informing the board “on the proper application of Virginia law.”

“These regulatory changes are misguided,” Cox said in his statement. “In the rare and undoubtedly scary moments when a mother feels that abortion is her only choice, she should be assured that the abortion will be completed in a safe environment capable of meeting all of her medical needs.”