Virginia Board of Health to meet this week to reconsider abortion clinic regulations

By Dave Andrusko

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Next Friday, the Virginia Board of Health will meet to reconsider a proposed set of abortion clinic regulations from which the board voted in June to exempt existing clinics. That surprise 7-4 vote delighted pro-abortionists—who showed up in force — and outraged pro-lifers who pointed out that when the Virginia legislature passed a new law, its express intent was to treat abortion facilities like hospitals.

The board did so even though “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 Associated Press (AP).

After the June meeting, the office of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent a memo to State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, refusing to certify the regulations, saying the Board exceeded its statutory authority in exempting existing abortion clinics from a 2011 law.

The regulations apply to clinics that provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. In addition to requiring that abortion clinics meet hospital-type standards mandating the size of exam rooms and the width of hallways, the regulations also establish new requirements for inspections, medical procedures, and record-keeping.

As reported in NRL News Today, under emergency regulations approved by Gov. Bob McDonnell last December, the clinics have been regulated as hospitals. Those emergency regulations were required under legislation adopted by the General Assembly in 2011.

“Shelley Abrams, executive director of A Capital Women’s Health Clinic in Richmond, said abortion-rights advocates again plan to show up early for a silent protest outside the meeting,” the AP reported. “In June, hundreds of abortion clinic workers and other opponents of the regulations held such a demonstration.”