Virginia State Senate Committee Shelves Abortion Facility Regulation Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia State Senate Committee Shelves Abortion Facility Regulation Bill Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 3, 2005

Richmond, VA ( — As it has during each of the last two legislative sessions, a state Senate committee shelved a bill that would have put reasonable regulations on abortion facilities. The measure would have brought abortion businesses in line with the health and safety requirements surgical facilities must meet.

Fairfax Republican Sen. Kenneth Cuccinelli told the committee his bill was needed to protect the health of women considering abortions. He said women getting abortions deserve the same standard of treatment as those going to any legitimate surgical facility.

"Everybody in here knows I am pro-life," Cuccinelli told the committee, according to an Associated Press report. "[But] there are some things that people on both sides of the abortion contest can agree on, and one of them is that women involved in these situations should be treated with dignity and respect and care, and that they deserve a certain minimum standard of treatment."

Cuccinelli said paramedics have been called several times to northern Virginia abortion facilities that don’t have the same setup at normal surgical facilities.

But, abortion proponents told members of the Senate Committee on Education and Health that the legislation would force many abortion businesses to close down because of costly remodeling requirements.

Pro-abortion people attended the hearing broke into a loud applause when the committee voted down the bill on a 9-6 vote.

That was the same vote as last year, when the committee defeated a similar bill.

Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation decried the vote in a statement.

"It is abundantly clear that nine members of the Senate Education and Health committee are committed to denying even the most basic safety standards to women in a crisis pregnancy," she said.

Under the bill, approved in the state House, any business that performs more than 25 abortions per year must meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgery centers.

Currently, abortion facilities are considered in the same classification as a doctor’s office and are not subject to state inspections.

Pro-life lawmakers say the change is needed because surgical procedures are being performed at abortion facilities that are not done at a doctor’s office.

Last year, Delegate Robert Marshall estimated that 18 of the 20 abortion centers in Virginia would fail to meet the new standards unless they made improvements to their facilities.

Related web sites:

Virginia General Assembly –
Senate Bill 839 –