A ‘Back Door’ Abortion Ban? Virginia Health Board Approves New Regulations
The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday for new abortion clinic regulations, a move that could force clinics in the state to either undertake costly renovations or shut down.
The 11-2 vote follows two years of back-and-forth, as detailed by The Washington Post, between the health board, Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The state General Assembly voted for the legislation in 2011. The rules now go to McDonnell and Cuccinelli, both Republicans, for a final review.
Under these regulations, abortion clinics will have to follow the same building codes as surgical centers, mandating that they meet specific standards for things like the width of hallways and doorways. If the locations can’t spend the money to renovate and adhere to these new rules, they will be forced to close.
“What they did was rubber stamp these regulations,” NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Deputy Director Caroline O’Shea told msnbc.com. “They were intent on the ultimate goal of restricting safe, legal abortion access in Virginia.”