Virginia Board OKs Regulations That Could Close Abortion Clinics

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 12, 2013   |   12:46PM    Richmond, VA

The Virginia Board of Health met today for the final vote for the regulations of clinics that perform first-trimester abortions.

The regulations enjoy support from pro-life advocates because they provide needed protections for the health and safety of women and could close abortion clinics that fail yo comply with the basic standards required of legitimate medical centers.

The Board voted this past September to pass the proposed abortion center safety standards; however, the regulatory process is an arduous process consisting of many votes and public comment periods along the way.

After a lengthy meeting, the Virginia Board of Health voted to put in place the emergency abortion facility regulations that it put in effect last September.

The Virginia Society for Human Life told LifeNews it applauds the vote.

“These new measures are needed to address the dangerous conditions that have been allowed to go unregulated in too many cases across the Commonwealth.  Women’s safety has been put gravely at risk for many years in Virginia by unscrupulous abortionists,” VSHL director Olivia Gans Turner said. “Recent news stories about ghastly conditions in a Philadelphia facility highlight the need to protect Virginia women.”

“VSHL is grateful to the members of the Board of Health who voted for the regulations. Also, Virginians can be grateful to the Governor and General Assembly for their support of these protective measures,” Turner added. “These reasonable regulations will begin to reign in reckless abortionists in Virginia. Tragically, important as they are, these regulations cannot guarantee the long-term wellbeing of women that obtain an abortion, nor do they protect the unborn children who lives are taken during every abortion.”

The Family Foundation also sought the supportive vote of the board.

“By voting to adopt the standards this Friday, the Board will ensure that Virginia’s abortion centers will be required to meet basic health and safety standards and will no longer be protected by a veil of secrecy,” it said.

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“The regulations, passed by the Board this past September, would promote safer conditions in Virginia abortion centers, resulting in a higher level of respect and dignity for the women who make the unfortunate choice to get an abortion. Since the announced inspections of Virginia’s 20 abortion centers, over 100 health violations have been discovered,” it added.

“For too long, Virginia’s abortion centers have gone uninspected and unregulated.  Permanent health and safety requirements protect women in Virginia,” the pro-life group said.  “The proposed regulations are reasonable.  Requiring that these facilities have emergency equipment, basic sanitary procedures, and proper medical personnel are all commonsense measures. Since the recent announced inspections of Virginia’s 20 abortion centers, over 100 health violations have been discovered.  Virginia’s abortion centers were not operating under safe standards and were jeopardizing the health and safety of women prior to the enactment of these crucial regulations.”