The Hillcrest Clinic abortion business located in Virginia will close its doors after being the first facility in its region of the state to do abortions. The abortion clinic could not meet the new health and safety standards the state health board approved recently and will shut down.
According to a local report in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper:
Virginia’s new licensing standards for abortion clinics, coupled with a drop in demand for pregnancy terminations, have driven the clinic out of business.
“It’s a little bit bittersweet,” said Suzette Caton, Hillcrest’s director. “But I also feel like for 40 years we’ve had the honor of providing compassionate care to the women in Tidewater who are faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The staff upheld what the philosophy of the clinic was, and that was to ensure that women had access to a safe, legal abortion.”
Word of Hillcrest’s closure brought tears of joy to anti-abortion activists who had picketed the clinic for years.
“Prayers are always answered,” said Christine Martinez, who demonstrated outside Hillcrest regularly for more than 15 years. “And the prayers are answered in God’s time, not ours.”
Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said she trusted medical professionals to come up with appropriate standards.
“If folks want to invest in the health and safety of women – in the health standards – you’d think they’d be able to find the funds to do that,” she said.
But that was just one reason Hillcrest made the decision to go out of business. Costs of supplies and staffing have risen, she said, while the number of women seeking to end their pregnancies has declined.
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The newspaper indicates the Hillcrest abortion business did 1,629 abortions last year, and abortions were down in the region. It opened in October 1973 to do 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 to comply with the basic standards required of legitimate medical centers.