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Women require access to safe, legal abortion care, but women’s health care providers in Virginia are under attack. Anti-choice lawmakers passed a "TRAP,” or "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers,” law. This law subjects women’s health care centers to new regulations that have nothing to do with the safe delivery of services for women. The proposed regulations may drive up health care costs or drive health care providers out of practice – making comprehensive preventive reproductive health care less accessible. Without providers or affordable options, women’s access to safe, legal abortion care in Virginia could be cut off.
Know The Facts:
Fact: Laws that target only abortion providers have nothing to do with the safe delivery of services for women and everything to do with legislators’ efforts to restrict access to reproductive healthcare. Placing regulations on women’s health centers is a political strategy embraced by anti-choice groups as a way to prevent access to abortion services. Here’s how it works: Regulations drafted by the Department of Health include architectural and procedural requirements that have no proven medical benefit to patients and are unnecessary for ensuring continued safety of first-trimester abortion services. Women in Virginia could lose access to providers because of burdensome and far-reaching regulations that have nothing to do with women’s health and safety.
Fact: Women’s health centers in Virginia already follow state and federal safety regulations. The high standard of care provided by women’s health centers in the Commonwealth is proven by their impressive safety record. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. Of women who have first-trimester abortions, 97% report no complications at all. Women’s health centers are already subject to the same regulations as other physicians’ offices and facilities providing services like dentistry and oral surgery, and colonoscopies.
Fact: Women’s health care centers are gateways to well-woman care. Many women’s health care centers provide comprehensive care, including life-saving cancer screenings, gynecological exams, family planning, prenatal care and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment. During a recession when women need more access to affordable health care, we’re only seeing politics as usual from Virginia’s anti-choice Governor McDonnell. These regulations threaten the long-term availability of Virginia health centers—centers that are primary care providers for many uninsured and underinsured women during tough economic times.