Virginia AG adopts pro-abortion position on abortion clinic regulations

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring

Pro-abortion Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring

In arguably the least surprising legal opinion of 2015, pro-abortion Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) issued an opinion today that adopts the abortion industry’s position on a 2013 law intended to upgrade abortion clinics and make them safer for women.

Abortion clinics have moaned and groaned about the requirement that abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers, if they provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The regulations address such issues as building standards, staff training, sanitation, and equipment standards. They complained that the changes were unneeded and costly.

Herring gave them their latest victory, one of many since pro-abortion Democrat Terry McAuliffe edged pro-life Republican Ken Cuccinelli to become governor in 2013. Herring said the requirements do not apply to abortion clinics that were in existence when the law was passed–effectively all the abortion clinics in the Commonwealth.

Then Attorney General Cuccinelli had taken the opposite stance in July 2012. Following a lobbying barrage by pro-abortionists, the Virginia Board of Health voted to exclude existing abortion clinics from regulations formulated to implement the law.

The AG’s office of sent a memo to then State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, refusing to certify the regulations, saying the Board exceeded its statutory authority in exempting existing abortion clinics from the new law. The board then reversed itself in September 2012.

Since he was elected in November 2013, McAuliffe has systemically paved the way to gut the regulations, in the meanwhile giving abortion clinics waivers while the dismantling process takes place.

For example, he stacked the board of health with pro-abortion supporters. He appointed a new and more compliant Health Commissioner. McAuliffe “accelerated the review process for the regulations.” (Next month the board of health will revisit the regulations with an eye toward rolling back the clinic standards.)

“The comments of Virginia’s Attorney General Herring prove solidly that elections have consequences, “ Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginians for Human Life Society, told NRL News Today. “Pro-abortion groups have real allies in Gov. McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Herring, who are successfully doing exactly what Virginia’s abortion industry requires in order to continue to operate unchecked and unregulated.”

Gans Turner added, “This latest statement is evidence that Mark Herring only has the best interests of abortionists on his mind, not the lives of unborn children or the well-being of their mothers.”