By Dave Andrusko
Pro-abortionists in Virginia, having driven the “war on women” bus by turning a routine requirement into a dastardly plot, are having a second go at it. This time the object of their wrath is not the use of an ultrasound (which virtually every abortion clinic in Virginia already uses) but a requirement that abortion clinics be regulated like outpatient surgical centers.
As you may remember, that was the clear intent of a law passed last year. Having been on the receiving end of an intense lobby campaign, the Virginia Board of Health suddenly decided that lawmakers in the Commonwealth did not mean existing abortion clinics should be cover, but only those that will be built. In all the manufactured hysteria, this get glossed over.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said no. His office sent a memo to State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, refusing to certify regulations the State Board of Health issued last month, saying the Board exceeded its statutory authority in exempting existing abortion clinics from a new law intended to treat abortion facilities like hospitals.
The ultimate decision falls to Gov. Bob McDonnell, but clearly the Abortion Establishment and its friends in the major newspapers are trying to get to McDonnell by demonizing Cuccinelli.
We wrote last week about a Reuters story with the headline “Virginia’s attorney general refused to certify relaxed rules for abortion clinics, sparking an outcry from activists that he is imposing his ideological will.” By “relaxed,” they meant accepting rules that were completely at odds with the intent of the legislature.
And to be clear, in voting 7-4 to grandfather in existing abortion clinics, the State Board of Health knew exactly what it was doing and what the AG office’s response would be.
“Senior Assistant Attorney General Allyson K. Tysinger had told the board that it lacked authority to grandfather in existing clinics, saying the law passed by the General Assembly requiring the regulations specifically mandated the tougher building standards,” according to the AP. Tysinger repeated that advice in her one-paragraph memo to Remley.
The stories and editorials (although it’s hard to tell them apart) employed the usual hysterical, over-the-top language. To name just four, “abortion crusade,” “overly partisan attorney general,” “ideological activism,” and the willingness to use “extrajudicial means to roll back abortion rights.”
As NRL News Today reported, Gov. McDonnell can accept the regulations or send them back to the board with amendments. The Washington Examiner explained last week that McDonnell indicated “that he would not support regulations he doesn’t deem faithful to the intent of lawmakers.”
If McDonnell sends back recommended change to the regulations, “the regulations go through another round of public comment, possible revisions by the Department of Health, another vote by the board and a second executive branch review before the regulations become final,” the Associated Press reported.
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