RICHMOND — The Virginia Board of Health decided Thursday to move forward with a review of rules for abortion clinics, the latest step in a lengthy process that could roll back controversial regulations finalized last year.
The move was a victory for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who campaigned on a promise to reverse the rules, which regulate abortion clinics as if they were hospitals by dictating such details as hallway widths and the number of parking spots. Opponents of the regulations say they were intended to block access to abortion by closing down clinics that do not meet the requirements.
“These clinics provide essential preventive care and cancer screenings to many women and families and unfortunately were facing closure due to onerous regulations that were the result of politics being inserted into the regulatory process,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
However, groups opposed to abortion did not necessarily see Thursday’s action as a defeat; they said the review approved by the health board leaves open the possibility that restrictions on clinics could be strengthened. The restrictions, they said, are meant to protect women’s health and safety.
“We don’t know what will happen at the end of this process. This is simply a reopening and reviewing of the standards,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told reporters after the meeting.
The biggest bullshit in the world is out of Victoria Cobb’s mouth. TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are for one reason and one reason alone–to stop abortion. That’s the only reason. Wide hallways and designer parking lots are just BS and help no one. Let’s face it, people having medical procedures not related to abortion can run into emergency problems. Can someone please explain to me why these laws aren’t in place for all medical facilities that provide out-patient services? They can’t. The requirements are bogus and help no one.
Good for Governor McAuliffe for prioritizing getting rid of these ridiculous laws.
Pro-life isn’t just from fertilization to birth. Life is a continuum that streams from generation to generation.
I find it astonishing that some of our biggest “pro-life” movers and shakers in the community were down at McCoart Building yesterday ready to hop all over the Board of County Supervisors for allowing refugee children to live at Joe Gibb’s private facility, Youth For Tomorrow.
Many “pro-lifers” who feel quite comfortable with legislation that would force a woman to give birth even in extreme cases of rape, incest and fetal anomaly, have no compunction about telling the “illegals” to go back where they came from, even if they are 5, 8 or 11 years old. These same people want to deny these children refuge, even on a temporary basis.
These people simply aren’t pro-life–not by my standards. Perhaps my standards are just a little too high for some of the movers and shakers. From here on out, if I heard you calling out children who are here, alive and kicking, and telling them to go home, I will be calling bullshit on you, regardless of who you are.
Sort of makes you wonder who the real pro-lifers are. Perhaps the very name pro-life has been high-jacked by many who are very short sighted.
There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Terry McAuliffe. From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:
Gov. McAuliffe has just ordered a review of dangerous targeted regulations on Virginia’s women’s health centers! These burdensome regulations (also known as TRAP regulations) were designed to close the vast majority of abortion providers – and were enacted only after former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli bullied the Board of Health. It is past time that these TRAP regulations get the evidence-based review they deserve – and Gov. McAuliffe has taken the first step!
At an event for National Women’s Health Week this morning, Gov. McAuliffe announced that his administration is:
- Instructing Virginia’s Board of Health to conduct an immediate review of the medically-irrelevant, burdensome, targeted regulations on abortion providers that they approved last year under pressure from Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
- Making five appointments to fill seats on the Board of Health
- Approving Planned Parenthood health centers to participate in a cost-reduced medication purchasing program that will enable them to provide affordable care to more Virginians
It’s about time to put an end to laws that do not make women’s health safer. The purpose of TRAP laws is to weave a web of regulations around abortion providers so that abortion simply becomes too expensive and too inaccessible. Good for Terry McAuliffe. He is doing what I voted for him to do. Of course this fight isn’t over. Not by a long shot! But it has started and that is what is important. Also, last I heard, there is a lawsuit filed by Rosemary and Wayne Codding. Hopefully that will blast a few people out of the water. I simply cannot stand disingenuous concern. The Virginia TRAP laws are based on ignorance.
Despite a marathon sideshow of misinformation being paraded before the Manassas City Council, in the end, common sense ruled the day. To make a very long story short, after enough discussion to sink a battle ship, Councilman Mark Wolfe offered up a motion that protected the process of good governance. It was seconded by Councilman Harrover and supported by Councilmen Way and Randolph. Clinics that offer abortion services will not have to jump through special hoops nor will those types of clinics be pushed ahead of others.
Despite more than three hours of emotional testimony from about 85 speakers, two-thirds advocating against abortion, the Manassas City Council decided Monday against requiring special approval for new medical facilities – a zoning change some said could, in effect, limit access to abortion services.
Instead, the council voted 4-2 to proceed with a comprehensive review of the city’s zoning ordinance, which has not been substantially updated since the 1940s.
The decision will put to rest, for now, the question of whether Manassas would follow Fairfax city’s controversial decision to single out medical facilities with zoning rules that require a “special use permit” regardless of where they locate within the city.
Special use permits require a public hearing and separate approval by city or county officials, a process that can open applicants to public opposition. Abortion-rights advocates consider the process politically motivated and a means of “zoning out” women’s health clinics.
Nooo, we aren’t singling out abortion clinics for special treatment. Noooooo, we aren’t blurring the lines between church and state. Found on the front page of Sentinel, a weekly newsletter from Elizabeth Anne Seton School for parents and students:
On Monday, March 10th at some time after 5:30 pm in City Hall Council Chambers, the Manassas City Council will vote on Marc Aveni’s proposal to require new medical facilities (to include abortion clinics) come before Council and the public before locating in the City. Your prayers, attendance and possible speaking during citizen time in favor of this effort are needed again.
I suppose that once again there will be a sideshow over at City Chambers where everyone will be strutting out their most pious behavior. Marc Aveni is getting himself some free advertisement for his cause. (Will I get a thank you note for providing some coverage for him?) I don’t think those of us in the County can pick up City channels so we will miss the show but I expect it will be a rendition of Brother Love’s traveling Salvation Show of Neil Diamond Fame.