Pro-abortionists file lawsuit challenging Virginia pro-life laws

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Virginia State Del. David LaRock, conferring with Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life. [Photo Credit: Richmond Times-Dispatch.]

A coalition of pro-abortionists, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, filed a lawsuit Wednesday arguing that five Virginia laws on abortion are “burdensome and medically unnecessary.”

The suit was brought on behalf of “the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood and several abortion clinics around the state, including Whole Woman’s Health Alliance in Charlottesville” and was filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, according to Laura Vozzella.

On page 3 of the 62-page lawsuit, the plaintiffs contend “the Commonwealth of Virginia has spent over four decades enacting layer upon layer of unnecessary and onerous abortion statutes and regulations.”

According to Jurist.org, the five laws under fire are

1. second trimester abortions must be performed in a hospital;

2. abortions must only be performed by a physician;

3. medical facilities providing more than four first trimester abortions per month must undergo strict licensing requirements;

4. patients must undergo an ultrasound and counseling 24 hours before an abortion, requiring them to make two trips to a clinic; and

5. abortion is a class 4 felony if the requirements are not followed.

Their argument is the laws are unconstitutional in light of the 2016 Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt Supreme Court decision which struck many, but not all, parts of an omnibus package passed by the Texas legislature in 2013. Texas HB2 also included National Right to Life model language to protect unborn children who are capable of experiencing great pain when being killed by dismemberment or other late abortion methods. That provision went unchallenged.

Of course, the usual suspects are free to litigate to their heart’s content. But in a sense the challenge is logical. If abortion is safe, safe, safe—which of course it is not—why bother to require that physicians perform abortions? Or that later abortions, which are much, much more complicated, be performed in a hospital setting in case there is an emergency? Or require that abortion facilities meet minimal (not “strict”) licensing requirements?

The lawsuit can be seen as part of a non-stop challenge to regulations first passed in 2011 that upgraded safety requirement for abortion clinics in Virginia. Pro-abortion Terry McAuliffe, who was governor from January 2014 to January 2018, stacked the Virginia State Board of Health which eventually eliminated the protective regulations.

“Having failed to repeal these protective measures during the 2018 Virginia General Assembly, pro-abortion forces are trying to undermine the authority of the legislature right to pass important pro-life measures such as these,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of Virginia Society for Human Life. “They have a friend in the Commonwealth’s pro-abortion Attorney General, Mark Herring.”

Gans Turner added, “Pro-lifers can’t expect Herring to defend pro-life laws, given his record. In the end, this lawsuit is all about providing cover to abortionists and has nothing to do with protecting women or their unborn children.”