On Friday the Virginia Department of Health released its proposed permanent regulations for women’s health clinics. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed the state’s Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers (TRAP) law last year and clinics have been operating under emergency regulations since January 1. The State Board of Health will vote on the permanent regulations June 15.
Erik Bodin of the health department’s Office of Licensure and Certification said Friday in a memo to the state board that the proposed permanent regulations are very similar to the emergency regulations. He said some changes were made to conform to recent amendments to the informed consent abortion law, and to ensure that clinic employees who are legally mandated to report suspected child abuse comply with those requirements.
The new regulations requires that any clinic that provides first-trimester abortions undergo architectural renovations so that hallways are a specific width and ceilings a specific height. The regulations also permit state authorities to enter a clinic for inspection at any time and without notice to examine patient medical records, gather a list of current patients, and interview patients on site potentially violating both patient and provider privacy.
Give the collusion between states like Kansas under the Brownback administration and domestic terror group Operation Rescue, the prospect of inspections without due process for women’s health providers should be terrifying. But that is exactly the point with TRAP laws–to deter, by any means necessary, health care professionals from providing abortion care.
Photo from infowidget via flickr.