Home > General > The City and the abortion clinic: past, present and future

The City and the abortion clinic: past, present and future

March 2nd, 2014

So a certain councilman in the City of Manassas has decided to take on the City Council, single-handedly, and regulate Amethyst Health Center.  By whose authority?  Mr. Aveni, do you know that abortion is a legal procedure in all 50 states in the United States?  Why are you trying to bankrupt the very city that you live in?  Manassas should not become a lawsuit magnet.

The owner of the Amethyst  Health Center will close the clinic when she is ready to close it, or, she will sell it.  You cannot not stand in her way or alter her course.  She will topple you like a house of cards while she smiles.  The City of Manassas will be sued unless you all regulate all the other outpatient facilities the same way.  That would include your plastic surgeons, your gastroenterologists, your oral surgeons, your urologists, and any other medical practice that performs surgery.

Just out of curiosity, why do you people think you are in the position to evaluate what happens between an individual and his or her doctor?  Let’s move it past the subject of abortion.  Aren’t people entitled to just a little bit of privacy?  Don’t people trust their doctors to adhere to best practice?  I wouldn’t go to a doctor who didn’t.

Let’s be honest.  It’s all political.  Mr. Aveni, did you empty out your church to mob the City Council meeting after your resolution failed?   Your religious beliefs are not and should not be part of public policy.  The believers should practice their faith and leave everyone else alone.  You are wasting everyone else’s time and money.  Stick to making sure your own house is in order.

This is all a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that has been the status quo for 25 years.  Now we hear a Henny-Penny Sky is Falling hysteria over a new abortion clinic coming to town in the next 4 weeks.  How absurd!  That is simply rumor and hysteria.  I also heard you all were getting a nuclear plant.  Anyone worried about that?   I would be.  I bet that’s a rumor also.  Why would there be two abortion providers in the same city?  There is no new abortion clinic coming to town.

The good people of the City of Manassas need to demand that this nonsense stop so their elected officials can get back to work on the governance of all things City.  Right now, you folks are  mired down in someone else’s religious beliefs.  Time to move on.

One more thing–many folks agree with me but aren’t nearly as outspoken.  Think about that at election time.   Extreme anti abortion politics really aren’t going to win  local elections.  You might just have to find that out for yourself though.  Don’t you think if most people wanted to get rid of an abortion clinic, it would have happened by now?

 

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  1. City Girl
    March 2nd, 2014 at 19:14 | #1

    Oh boy, now you’ve done it. I bet your phone is going to be ringing off the hook. How dare you trivialize something so important that people come all the way from Gainesville and Haymarket to tell the citizens of Manassas how to run their affairs.

  2. March 2nd, 2014 at 20:50 | #2

    They can certainly try. I have had people even pray over me.

    Gainesville and Haymarket can’t even run Gainesville and Haymarket.

    Actually, I heard that Lady Elizabeth was going to open a branch of Amethyst out there at Haymarket. Then what are they going to do?

  3. March 3rd, 2014 at 00:14 | #3

    I just love the hypocrisy. Government needs to stay out of the business of mandating health care but wants to get in the business of a woman’s reproduction. Republicans REFUSE to allow Medicaid expansion for those who live in poverty but don’t actually qualify for Medicaid under current standards but want to FORCE a woman to raise a child she may not have insurance coverage to birth or the financial means to raise. But THAT’s ok?

  4. Wolverine
    March 3rd, 2014 at 02:00 | #4

    The Aveni guy sounds like he is willing to fight.

  5. Sean
    March 3rd, 2014 at 07:06 | #5

    Aveni is a hypocrite of the biggest kind. Tea partying it as Manassas Councilman and at his job in PWC, complaining in budget meetings that he and his adept need more money….funny

  6. Wolverine
    March 3rd, 2014 at 08:35 | #6

    He and his “adept” need more money?

  7. March 3rd, 2014 at 09:10 | #7

    @Wolverine
    Wowowow I wonder if he will be willing to pay the bill when the City gets sued?

    I think what Sean is saying, Wolverine, is when he is in Manassas, he goes all tea party and brings his church members out to moan and groan about the women’s clinic in Manassas. Then when he is at his job in the county, he asks for more money.

    I will defend him a little on his job in the county…you do what your boss tells you to do.

    As for setting the City up for getting sued as well as taking up their time on closing down that clinic, no defense., It is inexcusable.

  8. Wolverine
    March 3rd, 2014 at 09:31 | #8

    Sounds to me like he’s a Tea Party guy who is ready to fight for his pro-life values. So, it appears, are many of the members at his church. Better get used to it. They aren’t going to go away soon. Not as long as the blood continues to flow on demand in those clinics.

  9. ultraman
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 | #9

    Wolverine: What’s proposed won’t close the clinic. It won’t have any impact on it. It probably won’t even keep a new clinic from opening in the city. Everyone knows this. I support the pro-life cause but fighting it at the local level is only going to result in legal problems. These are federal issues.

    Little Ol’ Manassas didn’t learn their lesson from definition of a family and the million bucks that it cost taxpayers. The city gov should stick to local issues. Not like MAnassas is knocking it out of the park on anything else.

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 10:31 | #10

      Welcome, Ultra. Thanks for your two cents. That’s what I am finding fascinating, why someone who knows better like Mr. Aveni is trying to saddle the City with a potential lawsuit.

      For the record, pro-choice people also would like to see fewer abortions. We just do it by promoting contraception and better choices. Eliminating unintended and unwanted pregnancy would do a lot for getting rid of abortion!!!

      Wolverine, do you agree with me about reducing the incidence of unwanted and unintended pregnancy?

  10. IVAN
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:40 | #11

    I think everyone has to refocus on the fact that there is an election this fall. The Aveni-Miller coalition’s attempt to boot Mark Wolfe off the council failed. The effort to stop the changing of local elections from May to November failed. I think Mr. A is counting votes and may think that his chances this fall are slipping. Perhaps he needs something to hang his reelection hat on, or maybe his is trying to go out with a “bang”.

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 10:53 | #12

      He needs to find a different “bang.” Many of us won’t sit idle when women, when faced with one of the most difficult decisions of their lives, are being used as buzzard bait…aka politics.

      Some of these social do-gooders might also considering taking all the time they are wasting, pontificating about “the scourge of abortion” and open a very inexpensive day care center for young women so they can continue their education or find a job. The underlying cause of abortion is economic empowerment or lack thereof. Safe, reliable child care is critical to young mothers (and old ones too). I would donate some time to child care if such an establishment were to evolve.

  11. Ray Beverage
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:42 | #13

    I invite folks to wander over to Andy Harrover’s blog and scroll down to February 5th for the first posting on Zoning efforts, then scroll up for “Part Deuce” and “Quickly”. http://harrover.com/wordpress/

    As for Abortion Clinics, remember the other year Del. Marshall pushing all three local governments to pass resolutions supporting consolidating these Clinics regulations? Well, VA Dept of Health published them this past June, and they can be found on the VDH website. Personally, I supported putting all the rules in one publication – Virginia Code and Virgina Administrative Code is so scattered, having all the rules in one place is actually a good idea.

    Yeah, the housing lawsuit….folks think just because we are out of the five year observation period as part of that $800K-plus settlement (legal fees took it over $1million), that we in the City are not being watched. Fat chance on that…we are still being watched by HUD and the Equal Rights Center. And the law firm? Interesting bunch. Beveridge & Diamond P.C. and Albert Beveridge III is distant cousin of mine.

  12. Ray Beverage
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:44 | #14

    @IVAN

    Have heard the Manassas Repulican Party is going for a primary vs. a convention this year. What will be interesting is if our one and only Independent – Steve Randolph – who also has served the longest on the Council, will run again.

  13. IVAN
    March 3rd, 2014 at 11:08 | #15

    @Ray

    What will be interesting is how many R’s file to run in the primary. Apparently, Aveni had a “slate” lined up to run at a convention to try to knock Harrover and any others out. With a primary, that is not going to happen. Having more than three names on the ballot could create some interesting results. The real drama may occur in two years with Way, Wolfe and Lovejoy coming up.

  14. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 | #16

    What is the issue? A councilman acting on behalf of the city? A councilman actually doing what the council is called to do? Oversight? Medical facility special use permits? Youre open hostility towards religious people is appalling. The shameless left strikes again

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 12:33 | #17

      Actually, Faith, that isn’t what the council is called upon to do. Oversight my ass! You aren’t doing oversight over there at the urology outpatient clinic. That service is far more invasive and dangerous that abortion. Cystoscopies? Vasectomies? Anesthesia is involved in both of those procedures, yet no one feels compelled to provide oversight there.

      Faith, you don’t know me. Just because I am not YOUR religion is no reason to assume I am not religious. Your intolerance of other people who don’t agree with your religious beliefs is appalling. I don’t care for zealotry. However, zealotry isn’t religion.

  15. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:16 | #18

    so is it that you assume everyone who disagrees with you is a religious nut OR that everyone who is religious is a nut?

  16. March 3rd, 2014 at 12:45 | #19

    Pa-Leeze Faith! Medical over site is done by professionals, not elected politicians pandering to their base.

    When you get a colonoscopy done you are under anesthesia for at least 20 minutes, a greater risk of REAL medical complications occur from that procedure than from an abortion. The silly shell game of “lo we only want to protect the woman” is a joke and you know it along with the rest of the thinking community. Guess what? I am pro life, I have two beautiful children, but I also believe that women control their economic future, not you, not Mark Aveni, NOT self aggrandizing politicians.

    Abortion is legal, don’t believe in them, don’t have one. What comes out a woman’s vagina is her business, not Mark Aveni’s and not yours either. It’s so easy to deny a woman the right to choice and espouse the love of life while in the same breath deny Medicaid and food stamps to poor single mothers who can’t afford another mouth to feed.

  17. IVAN
    March 3rd, 2014 at 12:53 | #20

    It would appear that the recent experience in Arizona would indicate that Moon and her followers are not the only ones who hold hostility towards “religious people”.

  18. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:03 | #21

    @Faith
    I don’t believe I used the word “nut.” If I felt someone were over the top I would probably say extremist or zealot.

    I am very tolerant of religions not my own, as long as someone doesn’t shove that religion down my throat or expect me to follow the beliefs. I am live and let live with most religions, including snake handlers unless I am asked to handle their snakes.

    Obviously you are not since you want to shove your religion down the throats of the people of this community.

  19. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:05 | #22

    “social do gooders”. Sounds like a slave owner braying against the abolitionists

  20. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:17 | #23

    So you know that I am religious and NOT your religion. Youre quite a mind reader. You go on and on about different clinics in the area and how dangerous the procedures are. So you want the council to have more over site? Are you suggesting that abortion clinics have NO over site because it involves vaginas? Or are you simply pissed because you feel that their is a religious tone to vaginal over site?

  21. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:18 | #24

    I find the lack of meaningful debate by Faith to be quite telling.

  22. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:19 | #25

    *there

  23. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:29 | #26

    elena, you cut me to the quick. Are you suggesting that the clinics you mentioned are NOT regulated by politicians? Are you suggesting that city council shouldnt oversee zoning? Are you suggesting that abortion clinics should be allowed anywhere because they involve vaginas?

  24. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:33 | #27

    Faith, I don’t know what you are talking about and I doubt if you do either.

    Tell me about this oversight.

    I believe that Amethyst Health Care is a member of NAF. They also come under several government agencies that have oversight into all medical practices. Why should a clinic that provides abortion have more oversight than a Urologist?

    What is it exactly that the mob wants to have done? I know what the general intent is: shut down Amethyst Health Care. Why not just be honest.

    If that happens, then everyone will go to Falls Church or Fairfax. It won’t all go away. You will just have less control. No one is going to run the Coddings out of town, btw.

  25. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:37 | #28

    Faith,
    I am suggesting that like clinics that perform colonoscopy’s are no different than abortion clinics, period. Start effing with all medical clinics and see what happens, but that isn’t going to happen because at the end of the day, this is all legally indefensible.

    I am suggesting that like rectums, vagina’s are not the purview of politicians to oversee personally, it’s the purview of the doctor.

  26. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:40 | #29

    Less control of what? Are you suggesting Aveni is trying to use means outside his rightful oversight? Medical facilities have to have a medical facility use permit. Should all permit applications be rubber stamped or JUST ones for abortionists?

  27. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:42 | #30

    Well it actually is very easily defensible. Im not sure those words mean what you think they mean. So city council shouldnt be involved with zoning? Or are you saying they shouldnt be involved with zoning medical facilities?

  28. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:46 | #31

    Oh quit hiding behind zoning. That’s such a crock. If medical facilities are zoned, then they should all be zoned the same.

    Faith, you are becoming the weasel-word wonder here.

    Again, I am going to ask, exactly what is being proposed? (in your own words)

  29. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:47 | #32

    Im missing your point. This IS a zoning issue. What are you accusing Aveni of?

  30. March 3rd, 2014 at 13:51 | #33

    What is being proposed for Amethyst? Please explain to me what you want to happen?

  31. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:53 | #34

    BTW, youre hysterical charge that this invites lawsuits is silly. You are not a lawyer, clearly. Fairfax has done the exact same thing and no lawsuits have materialized.

    Youve turned a city councilmen’s rightful oversight into a religion bashing quagmire. Youre simply ridiculous

  32. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 13:57 | #35

    What do I want to happen? Rainbows and whirrled peas. The idea that we treat all medical facilities the same is absurd. Do you need a diagram drawn? Dentists and urologists dont produce thousands of pounds of “fetal waste material” to deal with. Should the city be concerned with a clinics ability to dispose of their dead babies? To pretend it all the same simply isnt rooted in reality.

  33. March 3rd, 2014 at 14:12 | #36

    @Faith

    Ah ha….there she is!!!

    You simply don’t know what you are talking about. The city isn’t disposing of any medical waste. The clinic has a medical waste service.

    There aren’t thousands of pounds of dead babies. Good grief. You are describing something that doesn’t exist, at least not in the City of Manassas.

    Amethyst is a first trimester facility only.

    So now you know that medical waste isn’t an issue. What’s the next line of defense to throw up?

  34. March 3rd, 2014 at 14:22 | #37

    The Fairfax clinic was closing anyway. No one has challenged the law, yet. That doesn’t mean it won’t be challenged.

    How do you know what my credentials are? I don’t need to have passed the bar to know that abortion is legal in the United States and that if someone wants to challenge laws being enacted by the City that restrict a woman’s right to an abortion, they can do so. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know its going to cost the City some bucks.

    Funny, all of the big money that the city has had to pay out is because of social engineering. Ever think of that?

    Did you call me a shameful liberal or something like that earlier? I have been smiling about that all day. I love labels. Just so you know a little more about me, I am a wife, a mother and a grandmother. I had a career most of my adult life and I try to live charitably. I try to give locally to people who are down on their luck. Does that make me a shameful liberal? If so, then I guess I am proud of that.

  35. ultraman
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:24 | #38

    In looking at harrover’s blog it seems like the big disagreement is how fast to get the clinic regulation done? This hardly seems worth the time.

    @faith: is it a pure zoning issue or not? You’re sending conflicting messages.

  36. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:31 | #39

    Are you saying this ISNT a zoning issue? Thats the question I keep asking and you keep dodging. What EXACTLY are you accusing Aveni of other than believing in God?

  37. March 3rd, 2014 at 14:33 | #40

    Well that didn’t take long Moon.

    what happens when I woman is having a miscarriage and must have D&C Faith? What about treatment for precancerous cells within her cervix? What about oral surgery? This is all about abortion and nothing else, clearly Aveni has targeted abortion clinics and I hope the city stands up to the him and all the other people who love to force a woman to have a baby all the while towing the line on TEA party tactics.

  38. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:38 | #41

    OK–so your accusing Aveni of being prolife? Is that it?

  39. City Girl
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:41 | #43

    One man fighting a Federal law that has stood for decades that he opposes because of his personal and religious beliefs and using taxpayer’s money and time to do it, that is what this is about. It may be a noble cause to some but it is a waste of time and resources to the citizens of Manassas who want better schools and services.

  40. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:43 | #44

    Which federal law?

  41. City Girl
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:50 | #45

    I do believe that Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land unless overturned by the Supreme Court. This gives it precedent over all State and local laws.

  42. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 14:52 | #46

    Its not a law. The Supreme Court doesnt make law, it interprets them. The SC has decided that local zoning laws can be applied to abortion clinics. Aveni is within the law.

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 15:19 | #47

      It most certainly is established law…Roe V Wade.

      Want to give me the case where abortion can be controlled by local zoning laws?

      Aveni is free to try. When the City is deeply involved in law suits, you were warned. I don’t live in the City. I just hate to see my friends over there having to pony up for that one.

      Aveni is famous for his clarion calls in church. I know lots of folks who plan to vote him out of office because he seems to work in opposition to what is in the best interests of the City.

      If the City is trying to apply any additional regulations to clinics that offer abortion services, I will oppose that also. It’s really not up to any municipality to stand in judgement.

  43. City Girl
    March 3rd, 2014 at 15:03 | #48

    Yes, but after 25 years in existence, zoning is “grandfathered” in. If the current owner sells the clinic or wills it to another, the zoning for that location is grandfathered with the business, that is, according to City staff.

    Btw, Roe V Wade was based on a law as are all SCOUS decisions. Zoning is not a law, it is a local ordinance. It can be challenged in court as the Definition of Family ordinance was, but it is applied to Constitutional guarantees.

  44. March 3rd, 2014 at 15:33 | #49

    Thank you City Girl for defining recognized law vs zoning. I hope that it is helpful to Faith.

  45. IVAN
    March 3rd, 2014 at 15:38 | #50

    This discussion started out as a thread on zoning changes in the City. Then it became a “war on religion”. Now we’re back to zoning. I’m getting a headache.

  46. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 15:42 | #51

    Zoning laws are laws. SC decisions are interpretations of law. You speak well outside your expertise. Abortion clinics are subject to zoning laws. This isnt about the existing facility, although the latest inspection report has identified numerous serious issues.

    So to sum up your arguments, you are against Aveni because he goes to church. Is that all?

  47. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 15:47 | #52

    oh and the SC doesnt decide cases based on the law, they decide based on the constitution. Any of you ladies ever take a basic civics course?

  48. Confused
    March 3rd, 2014 at 16:01 | #53

    Reading all of this has been entertaining, though it’s clear that Faith (-ful?, -less?) is struggling with the concept of case law. I looked for (and found) the simplest definition of case law I could find:

    case law
    noun
    law established by judicial decisions in particular cases, instead of by legislative action.
    Origin:
    1860–65

    Although it’s off-topic, it does show that a discussion with Faith about case law is not going to be very productive.

  49. March 3rd, 2014 at 16:09 | #54

    Faith, your teacher is calling you. We know it’s a snow day and you are probably bored.

    I am not going to argue semantics with you.

    Go back and read the thread. It tells you all you need to know.

    I am opposed to any local jurisdiction attempting to regulate a woman’s health care clinic. This is not the first time Mr. Aveni has attempted to stand in the way of reproductive freedom.

    Now, what part of what I just said do you not understand?

    If you want to think it is all about religion, fine. Think that. I really don’t care. You are going to wrap yourself in your own cocoon of delusion about how the rest of the world thinks. I doubt that anything I say will have any impact on you or vice versa.

  50. March 3rd, 2014 at 16:42 | #55

    Here’s what I see the problem is, Faith. You are defending someone important to you. I am guessing you are Mr. Aveni’s wife or daughter, while I base that on nothing other than the ferocity with which you are defending him. You are trying to draw me into a discussion that makes fun of his religion or personal attributes.

    That isn’t going to happen. I believe I can disagree strongly with policy without demeaning those personal characteristics that often become easy targets on blogs.

    I don’t care if Mr. Aveni is a Snake-Handler or an Atheist. It makes no difference to me. I don’t want someone else’s religion becoming the basis for municipal policy. I don’t want someone emptying out the pews to have policy made based on number of people from a church. Church beliefs have no business becoming law or rules governing jurisdictions.

    So it doesn’t matter to me how faithful Mr. Aveni is or whether you think I am a Godless sinner bound for the fiery pits of Hell, as you suggested this morning. I don’t even care if you think I am a flaming liberal. <—- that is just a label.

    Faith, I feel you brought a butter knife to a gun fight.

  51. March 3rd, 2014 at 18:26 | #56

    Do you not realize that federal law takes precedent over any state law Faith? Do you think you can zone such a facility that it cannot operate? I will agree with you on one point, there hasn’t been a lawsuit in Virginia to challenge these various targeted laws, including TRAP, against reproductive clinics. My hope is that there will be one forthcoming very soon. I love how republicans want to force a woman to bear a child she doesn’t want but G-d forbid you force people to buy health insurance! It’s such hypocrisy to a level I cannot fathom. All on the premise of forcing someone to pay for something they don’t want. How much does it cost to raise a child Faith? quarter of a million dollars! and that is just to 18, like suddenly they aren’t your financial responsibility anymore.

  52. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 18:39 | #57

    Elena, you are all over the map. Federal law does trump state law. What federal law applies in this situation? The abortion clinic wants to challenge zoning laws? OK. Sure. Go ahead.

    As for forcing people? I will agree that conservatives are all about making people be responsible for themselves. True. And? What does any of this have to do with a council member using oversight in zoning issues?

  53. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 18:43 | #58

    Moonhowler–YOu made this about religion, not I. YOU made this about him being religious. As for who I am, I am no relation to the man, but I have had the pleasure of meeting him at political functions.

    You did make me laugh with your paranoid “you think Im going to hell”. No, pumpkin. Youre stupid. Thats all the thought Ive given you

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 18:55 | #59

      It’s probably a good thing you were talking to me, rather than some of our contributors. That would get you thrown off here faster than greased lightning. However, since you have provided me with so much entertainment today, I won’t do that. Just make sure it’s at Elena and me and no one else. She has been entertained also.

      Listen carefully now: It’s only about religion if you are trying to legislate your beliefs for everyone else. You can be whatever religion you want, just keep it out of the public square. You bring it to the public square and try to make your religion part of public policy, then you are going to have a real problem.

  54. Trinity
    March 3rd, 2014 at 18:47 | #60

    Mr. Lovejoy and Mr. Aveni both declared Manassas City to be a pro -life city.

    Don’t you think that settles it? Nearly all the people in Manassas are pro life. We hate abortion with all our souls!

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 18:57 | #61

      Trinity, that’s your right to hate whatever you want. It isn’t your right to mandate your feelings for everyone else.

      I don’t know what to tell you about Lovejoy and Aveni. I guess they would need a referendum to make that declaration. Where did they say this?

  55. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 18:52 | #62

    So to sum up this bloggers point—Roe V Wade is a federal law that prohibits people who go to church from city council oversight of zoning laws. welllll….thats…….something

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 19:33 | #63

      Faith, do you really want people to think you are a ditz? Do yourself a favor and log off.

  56. March 3rd, 2014 at 18:57 | #64

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/01/06/federal-court-to-review-texas-abortion-law/

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A federal appeals court is weighing whether the state of Texas can enforce a law that led to the closing of many abortion clinics.

    A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t indicate how soon it would rule after hearing arguments Monday over a district judge’s decision to declare parts of the 2013 law unconstitutional.

    Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued to block a provision requiring doctors to have admitting privileges near where the abortion is performed. The groups say U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel correctly ruled in October that the provisions place an unconstitutional burden on women’s access to abortion.

    The 5th Circuit allowed Texas to enforce the law while it appealed the decision.

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 19:32 | #65

      There really is no compelling reason for the doctor to have hospital rights. It’s just another road block.

  57. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 18:58 | #66

    trinity, moon howly thinks only people who think exactly like her belong in the public policy realm

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 19:30 | #67

      Faith, you aren’t doing your side or your people much good. When you present your side, you should probably try to put your best foot forward. Calling people stupid who don’t agree with you really isn’t ‘best foot forward’ behavior, especially when you are a guest.

  58. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:05 | #68

    Yes, the people of Texas fought for a law to protect women. Doctors have to be AT LEAST competent enough to have admitting privileges to the local hospital. The real shock is how many couldnt even get that

  59. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:08 | #69

    No Faith, Roe V Wade protects a woman’s right to control her body in the first trimester of an unwanted pregnancy. Period. If states choose to enact laws that inhibit that right, they are acting illegally. Think of separate but equal Faith, Brown V. Board of Education Topeka Kansas. Roe V Wade is established law with over 40 years of precedence. The city can pass any zoning law it wants, but if risks legal action if it treats an abortion clinic different from any other clinic that performs like services. Abortions are not invasive surgery, you may find them repugnant and that is your right, but there the risk factor for harm is less than .01% for the woman and THAT is the person who is the breathing, thinking, sentient being protected by law, not a fetus.

    You want to live in a fetus focused country? Go to Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, or any other middle eastern country or a country with a strong religious government structure. In THIS country, religion does not dictate our laws, that is what makes us a democratic republic and NOT a theocracy.

  60. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:08 | #70

    Oh Faith, you have no clue what you are talking about. How many women die from abortions as opposed to childbirth in this country? I imagine you have no clue do you?

  61. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:11 | #71

    Oh, and that .01 is not mortality, its simply represents a complication.

    This country ranks 50th Faith in maternal mortality. Do you know who is most at risk, the very women that won’t have the resources to gain access to a credible clinic once people like you close down the most affordable and accessible clinics. You and people like you are the ones putting women’s health at risk.

  62. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:19 | #72

    So youre saying that abortion clinics be outside the laws regulating other clinics? All the other clinics you mentioned that perform procedures, those doctors have to have admitting privileges at the local hospital. You are amusing when you keep talking the law. Dredd Scott ring a bell? Plessy V Feregson? It is a simple law that the people in Texas passed to protect women from bad abortionists, and you balk. Shouldnt the women in Texas be protected? Shouldnt the women and men in Texas expect a bare minimum of competency from abortionists? Shame on you for thinking so little of womens lives and safety!!

  63. Confused
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:20 | #73

    Straw man debate tactics are dishonest and bore me …

  64. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:21 | #74

    You actually said that women suffer when the law demands a level of cleanliness and competency? Gosnell must have been your hero. No doubt he would love people like you defending the idea of sending women into filthy unregulated pits

    • March 3rd, 2014 at 19:36 | #75

      Faith, Gosnell performed illegal abortions. He and what he did was unacceptable and illegal. You seriously don’t think those were legal abortions, do you?

  65. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:27 | #76

    Filthy death loving scum. You are filthy death loving scum. Shame on you. Your only complaint against Aveni is he refuses to worship at your bloody altar built on dead babies and butchered women. Filthy death loving scum

  66. Confused
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:30 | #77

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!

  67. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:33 | #78

    Wow, Faith is not being very nice is she :)

    It isn’t nice to laugh at people when they are becoming so unhinged. Was it something I said?

  68. City Girl
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:35 | #79

    So, after a day of spirited discussions, we are now to the point where name calling is all that is left. I agree with Confused WOOOOOOOW.

  69. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:36 | #80

    Faith,
    I care more for the health and well being of women then you will ever understand. Gosnell was an anomaly and he operated an illegal clinic which is WHY he is in jail.

  70. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:41 | #81

    Oh, and Faith, not that it’s any of your business, but I fought for the right of women in this state to have certified midwives legally attend their home birth if they so chose. I believe in reproductive rights AND birthing rights.

  71. Confused
    March 3rd, 2014 at 19:42 | #82

    I’ve got to admit … I did NOT see *that* coming ….
    @Faith

  72. March 3rd, 2014 at 19:44 | #83

    Faith :

    Filthy death loving scum. You are filthy death loving scum. Shame on you. Your only complaint against Aveni is he refuses to worship at your bloody altar built on dead babies and butchered women. Filthy death loving scum

    You know, Elena, other contributors and I have tried to stick to policy and not get into the gutter. However, Faith, you are simply out of control.

    Is this what the people of Manassas want? Is this what Mr. Aveni’s followers do? Is this how they express themselves? Is this how they treat people with whom they do not agree?

    If you are a child, your parents should restrict you from the internet. If you are an adult, you probably need to talk to your priest or pastor about getting control of your emotions on topics that you clearly do not understand.

  73. Kelly_3406
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:06 | #84

    I do not see a lot of difference legally between local abortion regulation and local gun control. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, yet cities/municipalities look for opportunities to regulate ownership or in some cases to drive firearms stores out of business.

    As is pointed out frequently on this blog, no freedom is without limits. People want to limit gun ownership because innocent victims might get killed. It requires no reference to any religion to point out that abortion always results in a death.

    The Supreme Court has stated that some regulation of firearms is allowed, but the regulation cannot be so stringent as to prevent firearm ownership and use. That has not stopped from cities from going too far (e.g. D.C.).

    Has Supreme Court case law specifically forbidden any local/state regulation of abortion? I am not aware of it if it has. I see no reason that abortion should be any more protected from local regulation than gun rights.

  74. March 3rd, 2014 at 20:18 | #85

    @Kelly, it is being challenged in Virginia. Not sure where the case is.

    I am not sure I am ready to compare abortion rights to gun rights. I am also not sure how far I am willing for municipalities to be able to regulate gun ownership either. I have never thought about it.

    Given my dislike of patch work of laws, I would pretty much tell localities to leave gun shops and gun ownership alone. That falls under state jurisdiction which falls under federal jurisdiction.

  75. Cato the Elder
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:21 | #86

    This is like a ten car pileup on the beltway.

    I know I shouldn’t be staring at it, but I can’t stop looking.

  76. Ray Beverage
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:22 | #87

    Faith :What is the issue? A councilman acting on behalf of the city? A councilman actually doing what the council is called to do? Oversight? Medical facility special use permits? Youre open hostility towards religious people is appalling. The shameless left strikes again

    Faith, let me guide you to a reference regarding Regulation of Abortion Clinics, and when you look at the Virginia Administrative Code Regulation, you will find the section where the Local Government is referenced. It is under Part VII. The only other areas where the Local Government gets involved is the Clinic is responsible for security (and by other VA Laws they must coodinate with the local Police Department) and for disaster preparedness (where they coordinate wiht the local F&R System).
    http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/OLC/Laws/documents/pdf/RIS%202970%20Abortion%20Facility%20Regs%20final%20reg%202013.pdf?textid=5885

    You will also see that Abortion Clinics are classified as “hospitals” – and in the City of Manassas as the effective date of this regulation on June 20, 2013 – has only one Zoning District Business-4 where any future clinic could be established.

    The real issue at hand is this: The City Council knows not only our City Code Zoning Chapters need updating for such things as the changes to what a “Medical Office” is under current Virginia Code, but also the whole Code is in a need of review and updating. The Council, in a 5-1 Vote (Mr. Aveni was the no vote) on February 3rd voted to follow the Staff recommendation to do the overhaul in three phases. Mr. Aveni objects to the timeline and feels that Special Use Permits must be looked at now. Of course, the people who have turned out speaking supporting his request are Pro-Life. Those few of us who are asking questions (basically, what is the rush? why do you keep bringing this up?) are not being heard. 2nd Rule of Politics: Decisions are made by those who show up.

    Please do review these minutes. And take note – Mr. Lovejoy who was referenced in an early comment voted in support of the Staff recommendations.
    http://www.manassascity.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/5744

  77. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:23 | #88

    I stand by my statements

  78. Faith
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:24 | #89

    Moonhowl–I talked to my priestess, she agreed

  79. Confused
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:29 | #90

    Kelly_3406 :
    I do not see a lot of difference legally between local abortion regulation and local gun control.

    Other than one is a Second Amendment issue and the other a Fourteenth Amendment (or Ninth depending on your interpretation) issue?

  80. March 3rd, 2014 at 20:35 | #91

    Kelly,
    Abortion rights are very regulated, as you can clearly see state by state.

  81. Censored bybvbl
    March 3rd, 2014 at 20:45 | #92

    LOL! The above screed(s) screams sock puppet to me… I haven’t witnessed such a break-down since reading one of the eBay spin-off boards about 15 years ago!

  82. Kelly_3406
    March 3rd, 2014 at 21:13 | #93

    Confused :

    Kelly_3406 :
    I do not see a lot of difference legally between local abortion regulation and local gun control.

    Other than one is a Second Amendment issue and the other a Fourteenth Amendment (or Ninth depending on your interpretation) issue?

    I see no legal difference in the justification for states/municipalities to REGULATE these rights.

    The inability of you (or anyone else) to state precisely what in the Constitution grants abortion rights is instructive. I am not a big fan of penumbral rights, given that reasonable people can interpret them differently. The power assumed by the Supreme Court to define new rights based on “penumbral emanations” of the Constitution seems excessive.

  83. March 3rd, 2014 at 21:47 | #94

    I gave the example of Texas Kelly, I thought that was very instructive. It’s one thing to have regulations, it’s another to make them so cumbersome that it prevents the ability legally perform the procedure that states, county’s, city’s walk a slippery slope.

  84. March 4th, 2014 at 04:54 | #95

    @Kelly_3406

    There is very little to specifically state most Constitutional rights. That’s pretty much why cases go to the Supreme Court. Integration, contraception, interracial marriage, privacy all evolve out of interpretations rather than specifically stated law.

  85. Andyh
    March 4th, 2014 at 08:15 | #96

    @Faith, etc.al.: Recall that this is not a question of beliefs, feelings or anything else. It’s a question of *when* this examination will take place. Not if. The Council has already voted 5-1 to overhaul the entire code. This includes abortion clinics.

    Also, the Council is not regulating anything other than where these clinics can locate. That’s it. That’s all we can do and we have to do it very carefully. Just as we have to do with all federally protected uses.

    At the risk of irritating Moon, I’ll link to this article on my blog that attempts to explain what is going on: http://harrover.com/wordpress/?p=2512

  86. Ray Beverage
    March 4th, 2014 at 08:23 | #97

    @Andyh

    Thanks for jumping in, Andy! I made the referral to your blog and the Feb 3rd Minutes. Trying, trying, trying to educate folks on the whole scenario I be :-)

  87. Olivia
    March 4th, 2014 at 14:13 | #98

    @Moon-howler
    Moonhowler- I am Mr. Aveni’s daughter. I don’t know Faith, but I would appreciate you not assume you know who is commenting on your blog. My father can fight his own battles without getting his family involved.

  88. Olivia
    March 4th, 2014 at 14:14 | #99

    @Moon-howler
    Moonhowler- I am Mr. Aveni’s daughter. I don’t know Faith, but I would appreciate you not assume you know who is commenting on your blog.

    • March 4th, 2014 at 15:27 | #100

      Hello, Olivia. I have a granddaughter named Olivia.

      I often do know who is commenting on my blog. In this case, I was in error. The contributor said she was not Mr. Aveni’s wife and daughter. Nothing else was made over it. Usually when people fiercely defend someone local, there is a family connection. Thank you for identifying yourself.

      I can understand why you do not want to be identified with that behavior.

  89. March 4th, 2014 at 15:22 | #101

    @Andyh
    Your link doesn’t irritate me at all, Andy. Feel free.

    I never get irritated over a link.

  90. Olivia
    March 4th, 2014 at 16:16 | #102

    Thanks Moon howler. Just throwing a few things out there.
    1. I would like to clarify that my father does not call people to action during church services; (at least none that I’ve attended, and I’ve been going to church with my dad for over 20 years now!) nor did he empty his church to get people to speak. In fact, I know a few of the girls who spoke at the last council meeting and they don’t even go to my dad’s church. The pro-life crowd is not limited to one church or one faith community in Manassas.

    2. Manassas has a large contingency of pro-life voters, and the other members of city council would do well to listen to them. Ian Lovejoy was elected mainly because of the conservative, pro-life vote, and Lovejoy’s recent failure to back my father was duly noted by these same pro-life voters.

    Sounds like the vote has already been cast (per Andy’s post) so there’s no point in beating a dead horse. Just let it be said, the pro-life community in Manassas is not a silent minority, and if this recent blog post is any indicator, not one easily deterred from it’s mission. I would hope that people who have the true interests of our city in mind would be interested in reaching out to the pro-life community.

  91. March 4th, 2014 at 17:16 | #103

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Olivia. I just want to clarify a point. I am also pro life. I defend the rights of women as separate sentient beings, not as incubators. I can appreciate the very difficult decisions a woman must face when confronted with an unintended pregnancy. It is your choice NOT to have an abortion, just as it would be my choice to do otherwise if I found it necessary. I gave life to two beautiful children.

    As moonhowler has stated many times in the past, no one WANTS an abortion, no want ever WANTS to be in that position. The way to prevent abortion is to improve access to birth control, to educate women on where to get those services for reproductive care.

    It is NOT to be a party that closes planned parenthood or the various other clinics that offer both abortion AND birth control. In fact, if Virginia republicans had any sense, they would be embracing Medicaid expansion so that poor women had access to full health care, including birth control.

    What happens in Manassas, in this particular case, regarding the clinic, has a broader interest. It isn’t just Manassas residents that have a stake in the future of the clinic, it is about women and their rights.

    And interesting, you said you “In fact, I know a few of the girls who spoke at the last council meeting and they don’t even go to my dad’s church”. So, the inverse is that the majority of girls who spoke DO go to your dad’s church. Just an observation.

  92. March 4th, 2014 at 17:58 | #104

    @Olivia

    I suppose I am curious why the City of Manassas pro life community puts so much stock in whether a candidate is anti-choice or pro choice. You probably know that I live in the county and I don’t pay much attention to reproductive rights issues with my local officials unless they make a big deal out of it. I just have always figured reproductive rights aren’t a local issue.
    What is it that you hope to achieve?

    I would say that there is a fairly large but silent majority of pro-choice voters in the City if the last election is any example. I believe that the City swung Democratic by nearly 2 points.

    Frankly, most of the people I know in the City care a lot more about good schools, transportation, city services, and public safety. Let’s face it, abortion just isn’t a daily issue. Those other issues are things that people face day in and day out.

    I think most people tire of both sides and see people who can’t come up for air on either side as extremist. Most folks just want to improve their daily lives and that is how they will vote.

  93. George S. Harris
    March 4th, 2014 at 18:55 | #105

    @Kelly_3406
    Kelly, it’s not that the Constitution necessarily grants the right to abortion per se but here is what Roe v. Wade was about:

    Issues
    Do abortion laws that criminalize all abortions, except those required on medical advice to save the life of the mother, violate the Constitution of the United States?
    Does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protect the right to privacy, including the right to obtain an abortion?
    Are there any circumstances where a state may enact laws prohibiting abortion?
    Did the fact that Roe’s pregnancy had already terminated naturally before this case was decided by the Supreme Court render her lawsuit moot?
    Was the district court correct in denying injunctive relief?

    Holding and Rule
    Yes. State criminal abortion laws that except from criminality only life-saving procedures on the mother’s behalf, and that do not take into consideration the stage of pregnancy and other interests, are unconstitutional for violating the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    Yes. The Due Process Clause protects the right to privacy, including a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, against state action.
    Yes. Though a state cannot completely deny a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy, it has legitimate interests in protecting both the pregnant woman’s health and the potentiality of human life at various stages of pregnancy.
    No. The natural termination of Roe’s pregnancy did not render her suit moot.
    Yes. The district court was correct in denying injunctive relief.

    It’s about Due Process and the Right to Privacy. Nothing about church, what brand of religion-it’s about states overstepping their bounds. Is this too hard for you, and particularly, Faith to understand?

    For those who wish to bring their religion into the discussion, I say you should keep in your pocket, after all we have tried very hard in this nation to keep religion and the state seep tatted. You have no more right to attempt to stuff your religious belief down mt throat or the throat of anyone any more than I have to stuff mine down yours.

    As to regulation of these clinics, I’m more concerned they’re accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals than where they are located. This is the nationally recognized body for accrediting most things medical, including outpatient surgical clinics.

  94. Six Pack
    March 4th, 2014 at 19:46 | #106

    I see two issues here.

    First, the existing clinic.

    Until a few years ago, it was not regulated and inspected by the state health department, only the national abortion federation (which is a bit like the fox guarding the hen house). Since that time, the state health department has found health and safety violations at this clinic that have been, or are hopefully in the process of being corrected. We should all be thankful for these regular state inspections so we never see another clinic like Kermit Gosnell had! This council was very involved in the state health department regulation effort. They passed 5-1 a motion from Mr. Aveni to request the previous Governor to provide some state health department oversight, which he did as some of you know. Mr. Wolfe was the lone no vote in this case. I hope this state inspection program continues under the new Governor. Greenville SC was able to close down an abortion clinic in that town due to repeated health and safety violations, I believe the Supreme Court has upheld their ability as a city to do this?

    As I understand the new motion from Mr. Aveni, which was not supported by Mr. Lovejoy the first time, but it was the second time he made it (?), it would define medical uses consistent with the state definitions and require those uses by special use permit. This means the medical use applicant would need to come before council to “make their pitch” and a public hearing would be held. This is the same process for many land uses that legitimately can have potential impacts on the surrounding community. This could be a hospital, an abortion clinic and certain other surgical uses. Like other land use votes, council could vote for or against it. This is not the same as the full zoning study being promoted by other council members that would yes, define uses, but allow them in certain zones administratively.

    Thank you.

    • March 4th, 2014 at 21:42 | #107

      Welcome six pack. I don’t believe clinics that provide abortion services should come under any more scrutiny than any other medical facility unless problems have been reported. Bad medicine is bad medicine, regardless of what the specialty is.

      NAF certainly doesn’t want to have abortion providers who practice bad medicine. Pro-choice people and pro-choice organizations want and demand safe medical standards. NAF would be the standard bearer. Your comment that it is the fox guarding the hen house is offensive. It implies that pro-choice people will accept sloppy, careless medicine. Absolutely not.

      I don’t think Amethyst Health Center has been cited for health department violations. I believe that is one of those old stories that circulates but lacks merit or veracity. However, if you can find documentation that it has happened, I would appreciate you posting it here on this blog. I am more than willing to put my money where my mouth is about safe and legal. I don’t know if there are state health inspections or not. Are those inspections done at all facilities? What is inspected? I would be interested in finding that out also.

      I can’t address the SUP because I don’t know what it entails or if it entails anything at this point. I would just expect that all medical facilities be treated equally.

  95. Wolverine
    March 4th, 2014 at 22:55 | #108

    As I recall, NAF did know that Gosnell was operating an unsanitary and unsafe clinic. The NAF inspector reported this as fact, and the report was apparently ignored by NAF, as were other negative complaints ignored by PA state health authorities as part of a specific policy. The same inspector stated such about the NAF inspection in Gosnell’s grand jury trial. I don’t recall the NAF rationale for all this.

    Back in Michigan, no one took on the same kind of clinic in my hometown except the local pro-life forces and another ob/gyn doctor after one of the clinic clients nearly died in a local hospital from a botched abortion. It turns out that the clinic had never been inspected either by NAF or the local health department. A police entry for a suspected burglary uncovered it. The doctor in question had previously spent time in jail because of illegal prescription drug sales. His license was restored through shenanigans by a personal friend on the state medical license board. Once the clinic was closed, the doctor disappeared. State government has been working on better licensing and clinic oversight. Pro-life forces, however, kept after the doctor and discovered, to the consternation of state authorities, that the guy had been hired by a medical clinic (not abortion) in the Detroit area. He was fired and apparently has disappeared again.

    It seems to me that keeping this type of charlatan away from women is not very easy in our large and complicated society. I think we need a genuine combined effort from NAF, local government, state government, and pro-choice and pro-life elements, regardless of stance on the central issue, to uncover these bad clinics and get them shut down. It should be a common goal.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 02:54 | #109

      Why do you suppose that abortion clinics are more likely to have predators and charlatans than other types of medical facility? I don’t think they do.

      Whatever agency is in place for medical facilities should be in place for abortion providers also. I expect it varies from state to state.

      Lets face it folks. Inspections? They aren’t going to go in and watch a physician perform an abortion on someone. They are going to check for people having the proper certification, clean equipment that works right, and to see if patients have privacy and chairs to sit in.

      NAF is a professional association of abortion providers. They want excellence. I don’t think they just let anyone join. However, what are they going to do if they find out you are running a shoddy operation? Pull your credentials is about it.

      Abortion clinics probably are under more scrutiny than just about any other facility because of the controversy over abortion. Other types of facilities can be butchering people left and right and it goes undetected because your urologist isn’t under the watchful eye of people opposed to the existence of that clinic. What’s worse, an abortion charlatan or a urologist charlatan? Can they both be equally bad? Someone bad in either field can kill you. So can a charlatan oral surgeon or plastic surgeon. Just ask Kenye West. His mother died from botched plastic surgery.

      We all want safe, excellent medicine in any type of gynecology work. What we don’t want is doctors harassed out of business or in some cases, killed out of the field.

      Gosner preformed illegal abortions. No one approves of that and the pro choice people are who blew the whistle on that one also. The pro choice people also saw to it that one got closed down over in Suitland also.

  96. George S. Harris
    March 4th, 2014 at 23:50 | #110

    I am not sure I totally agree with Six Pack but I wonder why these clinics are not accredited by there JCAH. Is it because the general medical community does not approve of abortions or what? Apparently the NAF came into being because the general medical accrediting body, the JCAH did nothing. So, is the NAF the recognized accrediting body? Are their standards as good as those of the JCAH? I surely don’t know but wonder if Six Pack’s comment that it is a case of, “the fox guarding the hen house” may not be too far off.

    Moon, you state that, “I don’t believe clinics that provide abortion services should come under any more scrutiny than any other medical facility.” Well most other clinics are under the scrutiny of the JCAH and shouldn’t these clinics be accredited by the organization that accredits almost every other medical facility? If the JCAH doesn’t do this, shouldn’t the public demand it?

    • March 5th, 2014 at 02:39 | #111

      If I knew what JCAH was, I might be able to answer that. I don’t do code.

      I believe all medical facilities should be treated the same by outside agencies. No more, no less.

      Sure, go ahead and let the public demand whatever they want. How many complaints do you think an ordinary clinic is going to get in a day? 100? 200? Surely you are kidding me.

  97. March 5th, 2014 at 05:26 | #112

    @Wolverine
    NAF is an organization you join if you are an abortion provider. You meet their standards. I expect these substandard places aren’t members of NAF in the first place.

    I am fairly positive NAF has no policing powers over clinics that are not members. Those that are would lose their NAF accreditation if they didn’t meet standards.

    It isn’t perfect and I wouldn’t have brought it up as a policing agency. Its more of a standards agency.

  98. Six Pack
    March 5th, 2014 at 06:46 | #113

    As requested.

    http://www.vdh.state.va.us/OLC/AcuteCare/abortionfacilities.htm

    I can’t find the actual inspection reports however. They have been handed out to council members during citizen time.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 08:07 | #114

      Thank you 6 pack. Now, is this link you left just general? Help me understand here. For the record, I am not “defending” the local clinic. I am speaking in general based on the information I know.

      If Amethyst has been cited by the state, then there should be a record somewhere. Records can be altered.

      Actually, I just don’t think it is the job of the City Council to involve themselves. They are a political body. If there are violations then I would hope the state would be all over them.

      6 pack, my problem is that I have been involved in this type of activism for a long time. I know the tricks and deceit pulled by anti abortion activists to present their side in a positive light and all abortion in a negative light. I am sure I don’t know ALL the tricks however. That is why I am skeptical of information that cannot be verified.

      I have personally witnessed some of the harassment played out at this local clinic.

  99. Ray Beverage
    March 5th, 2014 at 07:23 | #115

    @George S. Harris
    For Moon, JCAH is “The Joint Commission” (their newer, shorter name) for accrediation of hospitals and healthcare organizations.

    George, the Commission’s primary focus is on facilities which perform services and are paid via Medicare/Medicaid. There are two other national organizations that are also approved by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to certify Hospitals, Ambulatory Centers, and Nursing Homes. That leaves a lot of speciality areas, and NAF entered the picture to set practice standards and guidelines for abortions, and also to serve as a national clearing house of clinics/providers.

    Moon is correct in #112 about policing powers – only those related to Medicare/Medicaid have any penalities within and that comes from CMS. Another example like NAF is for Theraputics – the American Physical Therapy Association sets the standards and practice guidelines.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 08:00 | #116

      Ray, thanks for the info and thanks for explaining the part I was struggling with.

      Medicare and Medicaid would definitely not come into play here. Medicare for obvious reasons (I HOPE) and Medicaid because it is forbidden by law. However, it can be used for contraception and non-abortion related health care.

  100. Wolverine
    March 5th, 2014 at 08:44 | #117

    I see your point about NAF, Moon, As I recall now, Gosnell had an NAF inspection only as part of his own request to join the organization. That came out in the grand jury testimony, I believe. But the problems with the clinic in my hometown suggests that some kind of closer coordination between local and state health departments and associations like NAF might help to keep the bad places from slipping through the cracks.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 11:16 | #118

      I think all medical facilities could use something like this. We all know of people who practice bad medicine or bad dentistry. We shouldn’t have to wait until the state pulls someone’s license.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 11:17 | #119

      I don’t believe they allowed him to become a member. (nor should they have)

  101. Ray Beverage
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:43 | #120

    @Six Pack
    Inspections of Clinics, Hospitals et.al for compliance with State Regulations is generally not posted at VDH website. All those various rules like HIPAA require a level of confidentiality. The City Council can receive them, but they become a limited-release document. About the only public health record you can find at VDH is the Resturant Inspections.

  102. Ray Beverage
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:52 | #121

    Olivia :Thanks Moon howler. Just throwing a few things out there.1. I would like to clarify that my father does not call people to action during church services; (at least none that I’ve attended, and I’ve been going to church with my dad for over 20 years now!) nor did he empty his church to get people to speak. In fact, I know a few of the girls who spoke at the last council meeting and they don’t even go to my dad’s church. The pro-life crowd is not limited to one church or one faith community in Manassas.
    2. Manassas has a large contingency of pro-life voters, and the other members of city council would do well to listen to them. Ian Lovejoy was elected mainly because of the conservative, pro-life vote, and Lovejoy’s recent failure to back my father was duly noted by these same pro-life voters.
    Sounds like the vote has already been cast (per Andy’s post) so there’s no point in beating a dead horse. Just let it be said, the pro-life community in Manassas is not a silent minority, and if this recent blog post is any indicator, not one easily deterred from it’s mission. I would hope that people who have the true interests of our city in mind would be interested in reaching out to the pro-life community.

    Oliva, I join Moon and Elena in their welcome. Your comments though raise my previous points as to “why the hurry” versus the Staff recommendations approved on Feb. 3rd? Your comments reflect the political nature of the issue versus the “good governance” which a small few like me are asking for. I for one do not see it as an issue of reaching out to the pro-life community.

    With regards to “beating a dead horse”, the fact your Father raised it again, and then Mr. Randolph made his substitute to bring it back Monday, well, I see it as not a done deal. The Minutes from Feb. 3rd reflect it was debated, and Mr. Lovejoy cast his vote on the side of good governance. I don’t few that as disappointing the pro-life community; I see that as his waying the options – and seeing no emergency since VDH published the regulations in June 2013 on Abortion Clinics – voted to support the Staff.

  103. George S. Harris
    March 5th, 2014 at 15:37 | #122

    @Ray Beverage
    I don’t want to bust your bubble Ray but some 82% of hospitals (that’s 92% of hospital beds) seek and have JCAHO accreditation. If I am not mistaken, almost all teaching hospitals are accredited since many medical schools won’t recommend non-accredited hospitals for internships or affiliation with the medical school. It’s more than Medicare and Medicaid.

  104. George S. Harris
    March 5th, 2014 at 15:39 | #124

    @ Moon, for your edification on the JCAHO (I apologize for leaving off the O), I recommend you go to this site: http://www.jointcommission.org

  105. George S. Harris
    March 5th, 2014 at 15:49 | #125

    Who credentials physicians providing abortion services? Credentialing and Licensure are two different issues. Credentialing is a thorough review of a practitioners education, training, sanctions, etc. Licensure is simply an authorization to practice medicine after meeting the standards for graduation and granting the M.D degree. Other health practitioners also require licensure and credentialing.

    • March 5th, 2014 at 19:06 | #126

      Who, for example, George. I believe most abortion doctors are licensed in the state and have regular credentials from their schools and other acadamies they have attended.

  106. Six Pack
    March 6th, 2014 at 06:04 | #127

    For a topic that many people feel doesn’t impact their daily lives, i would observe that this post is very popular!

    The local abortion clinic inspection reports are available with a FOIA ( Freedom of Information Act) request to the State health department.

    • March 6th, 2014 at 07:13 | #128

      I think it’s like Cato says, this thread was like watching a ten car pile up and simply not being able to take your eyes away.

      Six pack, Elena and I put up abortion articles all the time and often get very few comments. The fact that this one was a local story added to its ‘popularity.’ The fact that one contributor had a melt down and spoke rudely and disrespectfully to Elena and me added to the interest.

      Let’s face it. Abortion doesn’t impact our daily lives. I am a die hard pro choice person with many years behind me as an activist. I am far more interested than the average bear.

      I am assuming you are an activist? Tell us a little about yourself. You seem rational and articulate. I would like to hear your story and what motivates your interest in the topic.

    • March 6th, 2014 at 07:14 | #129

      Perhaps Mr. Harris will do this???

  107. Ray Beverage
    March 6th, 2014 at 07:13 | #130

    @George S. Harris
    George, your correct it is more than just Medicare and Medicaid. I just live in the world where those Hospitals/Healthcare Centers who are required as part of their State approval to operate to provide indigent care have to have Joint Commission accreditation. Been that way since 1965 when President Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid bills.

    The Joint Commission though is fast becoming not the only accreditiation body in the US. Sentara Healthcare has shifted to DNV Healthcare as it is more person-centered than the view JC is penalty. Speciality clinics (such as Rehab) and Long-Term Care facilities are also having other accreditation organizations now.

  108. Ray Beverage
    March 6th, 2014 at 07:16 | #131

    @Moon-howler
    A quick way to look at why clinics: think of them as entry points to hospitals. People who go to Prince William Free Clinic get checked, and the doctors find a condition best treated in a hospital. Same would be such as going to an Ambulatory Clinic like Patient First or Sentara Lake Ridge…you come in with chest pains, they run the EKG and then call an ambulance.

    Accreditation is basically to show the clinic is operating under quality standards.

    • March 6th, 2014 at 09:35 | #132

      Obviously a women’s clinic is not going to be an entry point to hospitals.

      I can see no reason that a physician at one of those clinics should have hospital privileges locally. If he or she did, the anti-choice people would run that person out of town anyway. I have personally witnessed the current clinic owner’s home being picketed by demonstrators, signs and all.

      I think all people involved in a clinic, at least medically, should have state licensing.

  109. Ray Beverage
    March 6th, 2014 at 07:36 | #133

    @Moon-howler

    Credentialing is more than the documents certifying the course of study. There is the credentialing with the local Hospitals, the commerical health insurances, Federal programs (Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare) and the Council for Affordable Quality HealthCare (CAQH). There is a whole industry out there of companies who you can work with (pay) to handle the paperwork. Former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling I believe works for one such outfit here in Virginia.

  110. Ray Beverage
    March 6th, 2014 at 17:08 | #134

    @Moon-howler
    The medical personal (doctors etc) who are required to be licensed are licensed. The regulations I posted way a bit back here also have training requirements for Staff.

    The regulation also requires the abortion clinic to have a written agreement with the hospital. That is just a common sense thing to me as I can think of instances where an immediate admit would be needed.

    As for local physician who performs procedures at the clinic, well, I know two OB/GYNs that do provide services there…and if their names were known, yeah, maybe the “tar and feather” crowd would get riled.

  111. March 8th, 2014 at 14:46 | #135

    You know, maybe people need to understand that actual procedure involved in a first trimester abortion. There is no surgical aspect, at all, to this procedure. Your cervix is dilated, that happens for many different gynecological issues and a device is used to extract the several week old fetus. No stiches, not cutting of the woman’s tissue, it is done within about 10 minutes. it is more invasive to get your wisdom teeth pulled than it is to have an abortion. Put aside the emotion and then ask yourself, why should this medical facility be treated than any other? Do you have inspections at your dentist office? At your cosmetic surgeons office where they probably perform many in office procedures?

  112. March 8th, 2014 at 14:55 | #137

    And, FYI, if there IS an emergency, at ANY medical facility, I am pretty sure you will be admitted to the ER whether your doctor has privileges or not!

    • March 9th, 2014 at 04:41 | #138

      If you have a wisdom tooth surgery gone bad, I don’t think your dentist has hospital privileges. Absolutely, Elena.

  113. Wolverine
    March 10th, 2014 at 23:01 | #139

    You mean you extract the several week old living fetus and kill it. End its living status and its future life. Then you toss it away like it was nothing more than an extracted wisdom tooth. O.K.

  114. March 11th, 2014 at 09:48 | #140

    That is just dramatic crap and what invalidates so much of what the anti choice folks say. I have not one problem being opposed to abortion for one’s self. I have not one problem with offering other real options for others (past diaper coupons and some baby clothes which we all know is just the tip of the iceberg)

    I have a real problem with you flying off about discarding fetuses which at that stage are embryos like they are wisdom teeth. I don’t know a single woman who has ever had an abortion who thought of the procedure like a wisdom tooth extraction and you cheapen yourself to suggest such a thing.

    To most people, it is a very painful, difficult decision. I say people because it isn’t always even the woman alone. Sometimes it is her parents, her grandparents, or her husband or significant other. Sometimes the woman goes it alone, and no one knows. It just all depends.

    But spare me the girlie analogies. I heard enough crap and misinformation being spewed last night to last me a year.

    and NO that isn’t what I mean. I am speaking medically about who has hospital privileges. Like I said.

  115. Wolverine
    March 11th, 2014 at 22:19 | #141

    Dramatic crap is it? Just where is there not truth in that post? Is the fetus not killed? Is its current life and future life not ended by the premeditated decision(s) of others. Are the remains not discarded by a clinic like a piece of unwanted trash? Killing is killing. Women make decisions every day not to do such a thing, no matter how tough a future challenge it may present. Don’t give me groaning and moaning about how tough it is to decide to kill a child in the womb. The real courage is in letting that child live instead of making him or her pay for your own mistakes with its very life.

    • March 12th, 2014 at 10:41 | #142

      Wolverine, Let’s start with the basics. There are different stages of development noted for a reason. I don’t know about you but I think there is a huge difference in a zygote and a 3 year old child. One is a sentient being and one is being who might end up as a miscarriage or an octogenarian. Life is uncertain. I would say to you that killing is NOT killing. I certainly would make a distinction between killing that 3 year old and zygote or a snake or a moth or an enemy soldier. As human beings we put different values on those attributes. Who determines when killing is ok? Society. Obviously we have some disagreement in our society, over what is acceptable and what is not.

      What is not acceptable, here at least, is for a male such as yourself to sit there and tell me, a female, not to moan and groan over what is probably the most difficult decision most women ever make. I am fortunate. I have never had to make that decision for myself but I have sure sat with a lot of different women and listened to their tears and their agony as they made the gut wrenching decision.

      Don’t even try to make it sound easy, like its some binary issue. It is complex and perhaps even more complex that it was 50 years ago.

      The real courage is to know when to keep your know-it-all opinions to yourself on issues that you will never experience. I will go so far as to say I bet you have never even talked to someone who might be having to make that horrible decision.

      Some abortions aren’t because of the woman’s mistake. Some are because of mother nature’s mistakes.

      You do spew dramatic crap. It is girlie sounding and really not even close to dealing accurately with the situation.

  116. Rick Bentley
    March 12th, 2014 at 18:50 | #143

    Uh-oh … it’s getting hot in here …

    I’m going to see if I can help to deescalate …

    Wolverine, at what point do you believe that a human embryo becomes a “child”? And, why?

    And a second question, if you will … how do you feel about single mothers? Do you lean more towards celebrating their choice, or stigmatizing them for choosing to have an out-of-wedlock child? If it’s ever the latter than you are in danger of basically damning women for having the audacity to get pregnant … people have sex, women get pregnant. Once they’re in that condition, usually there’s no Prince Charming in this day and age who can make that situation whole. They bear a burden that we do not.

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