Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Agrees State Should Limit Abortion Businesses

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell Agrees State Should Limit Abortion Businesses

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 26
, 2010

Richmond, VA ( — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appears to agree with the opinion Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued late Friday providing legal guidance for the state Board of Health. Cuccinelli said more limits can be placed on abortion businesses in Virginia when it comes to healthy and safety standards.

Noting that Roe v. Wade allows still allows virtually unlimited legal abortions, the attorney general said the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision allowing limits in other states makes it so Virginia limits would likely be seen as constitutional.

The key is making abortion businesses meet the same standards as legitimate outpatient medical facilities and those limits could close some abortion centers that do not follow current state guidelines.

"His opinion appears to be based on an opinion I wrote a couple of years ago to the city of Manassas," McDonnell told reporters, according to the Associated Press. "From a policy standpoint, I’ve always believed that every outpatient surgery clinic ought to be treated the same, whether it’s an abortion clinic or some other kind of surgery."

Cuccinelli’s opinion is important because it gives the green light for the state legislature to pass bills putting abortion centers in the same category as ambulatory surgery centers and requires them to meet certain standards to protect women’s health. Failure to do so would see them close permanently or temporarily while deficiencies are corrected.

Virginia’s Department of Health had regulated abortion clinics until pro-abortion Chuck Robb became Governor and ended the practice.

McDonnell could reinstall those regulations, but AP indicated he said it would take time.

"Regulatory changes, under the best of circumstances, take well over a year," McDonnell said.

Meanwhile, the 15-member state Board of Health has four slots McDonnell could fill with appointees who are sensitive to protecting women and unborn children from abortions.

The opinion came in response to a question from state Sen. Ralph K. Smith, a Roanoke Republican who asked if the state legislature has the authority to regulate abortion centers.

"This opinion clarifies any legal questions on the issue and sets the stage for regulating abortion clinics like other medical facilities,” Smith said in response.


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