Twitter
Facebook
FIND US ON:

Unprecedented Abortion Regulations Taking Effect

For Immediate Release: June 20, 2013

Contact: Alena Yarmosky, alena@naralva.org, (240) 595-2972

STATEMENT ON UNPRECEDENTED ABORTION REGULATIONS TAKING EFFECT IN VIRGINIA TODAY; COULD SHUTTER MAJORITY OF WOMEN’S HEALTH CLINICS BY 2014

The Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health issued the following statement today in response to the first day of the Commonwealth’s unprecedented targeted regulations on abortion providers taking effect:

After two years of backroom bullying and willful manipulation of the law, Virginia’s anti-choice politicians have officially succeeded in putting an extreme ideology before the health and rights of Virginia women. Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli have spent the last two years playing politics with Virginians’ basic rights and healthcare – and today they are responsible for implementing some of the most extreme state abortion laws in the country.

These regulations – like other attempts to chip away at reproductive freedom both here and across the country – are a blatant move to impose a back door ban on safe, legal, abortion care. Because of the callous actions of our governor and attorney general, thousands of Virginia women and families will soon find themselves without access to the critical healthcare they need. It’s a devastating day for the Commonwealth.

Tarina Keene, co-chair, Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health; and executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said:

"As these unprecedented regulations on abortion providers take effect across Virginia, we have already witnessed their intended effects, the unfortunate closing of the state’s longest serving abortion provider – Hillcrest Clinic in Norfolk. We fear in the coming year, when these regulations require Virginia’s first trimester abortion providers to architecturally transform themselves into hospitals, many of the remaining 19 women’s health centers will follow suit simply due to the onerous and expensive nature of these requirements that have nothing to do with patient health and safety.

"Fortunately, this month, Falls Church Health Center filed the first lawsuit against the regulations. The Coalition backs the center’s efforts to fight these burdensome and politically motivated requirements."

Katherine Greenier, co-chair, Virginia Coalition to Protect Women's Health; and Director of Patricia M. Arnold Women's Rights Project, ACLU of Virginia, said:

"These regulations are a scar on the great tradition of integrity and public service of the Virginia Board of Health as it succumbs to political pressure on a set of rules that place politics ahead of women’s safety and health.

"Attorney General Cuccinelli is wrong on the law. There is nothing in the Virginia Code (or Senate Bill 924, defining abortion providers as hospitals) that requires the Board of Health to impose extensive, burdensome construction requirements that have no relation to the safety of the services that women’s health centers provide. AG Cuccinelli's forced interpretation of the law in this instance is at odds with every other regulation of health care facilities, and far from consistent with prior interpretations of the law at issue." 
 
### 

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA COALITION TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH

The Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health formed in 2011 as a response to the attack on women’s health and safety prompted by Senate Bill 924. The Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health strives to protect and ensure access for all women in all regions of Virginia to safe first-trimester abortion and comprehensive reproductive health care services. The Coalition is committed to ensuring any regulations are based solely on medical and public health considerations. The Coalition is opposed to excessive, burdensome or unneeded regulations that undermine patient access to medical care for political or ideological purposes. Members, partners and allies include: ACLU of Virginia, Annandale Women and Family Center, Center for Reproductive Rights, Falls Church Healthcare Center, Feminist Majority Foundation, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, National Abortion Federation, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, Progress Virginia, Richmond Medical Center for Women, and Virginia NOW.