by Steven Ertelt
January 16, 2008
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — The Virginia state legislature has taken its first step in trying again to pass a bill that would subject abortion businesses there to the same health standards as legitimate outpatient surgery centers. A House of Delegates panel gave the measure strong support in a Tuesday vote and now it heads to the full House for consideration.
The House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions approved the bill, on a 15-4 vote. It requires abortion centers to receive regular inspections from the state health department and to comply with various medical requirements.
Currently, abortion businesses are viewed by the state as doctor’s offices, with little or no safety standards.
Similar measures in other states have been successful in closing down some abortion facilities with shoddy conditions that put women at risk.
Del. Matt Lohr, a Republican, is behind the measure and he is hopeful the Republican-controlled House will give it a green light.
"I was impressed that several Democrats voted for the bill in committee, and I hope to reach a bipartisan consensus before the full House," he told the Daily-News Record.
According to Lohr, any abortion center that does more than 25 abortions must meet the health standards in the bill.
Even if the House approves the measure, the Democrat-controlled state Senate has stopped the bill on previous occasions.
The Family Foundation, Virginia Society for Human Life and the Virginia Catholic Conference are working in conjunction to support the measure and other pro-life bills.
"Because abortion is an invasive surgical procedure, these clinics should be more strictly regulated to protect the life and health of women who go there, often times under outside pressure," the Family Foundation told LifeNews.com in a statement.