Anti-Abortion Advocate Appointed To Virginia State Board Of Health

There are a lot of ways to restrict a woman’s access to abortion services, and not all happen via legislative process. Sometimes it happens via executive appointment.

That’s the case in Virginia where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) appointed an outspoken opponent of abortion rights to sit on the Virginia Board of Health. Dr. John W. Seeds is an obstetrician at VCU Medical Center and vice chairman on the anti-abortion group OBGYNS for Life.  Seeds was one of six physicians appointed in 2011 to help draft the controversial regulations for the Virginia Department of Health, a process that became so politicized a number of the doctors involved complained that the regulations that were produced, including additional building and infrastructure requirements, were “not medically necessary” and instead driven by the radical anti-choice agenda of McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

The clinic regulations were passed by the General Assembly in 2011 as part of a last-second amendment by anti-abortion Republicans to an emergency preparedness bill that went undetected by Democrats and abortion rights advocates.

The appointment of Seeds comes just one month after the board voted 7-4 to grandfather in current abortion clinics from the new regulations, a move that prompted a tantrum from Cuccinelli and a refusal to certify the regulations.

The Coalition to Protect Women’s Health said the appointment of Seeds is a threat to the moderation of the regulations. “For Governor McDonnell to appoint Dr. James Seeds, a prominent member of an ideological anti-choice organization, to a public health body charged with acting objectively on the side of patient safety, is a clear and shocking conflict of interest,” said Tarina Keene of the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health. “With this appointment, this activist governor continues to display a disdain for women’s health, playing politics with lives instead of acting in the public interest.”

The purpose of these regulatory boards is to provide non-partisan administration and review of the laws. But stacking Boards of Health with anti-abortion ideologues has become a routine perversion of the purpose of the executive agency mission. Not that anti-abortion activists care.

Related Stories:

Virginia Anti-Abortion Regulations In Limbo

Iowa Gov. Nominates Catholic Priest For State Medical Board

Kansas Doctor May Lose License For Refusing To Force 10-Year-Old To Birth

Photo from markn3tel via flickr.


Danielle K.
Danielle K5 years ago

Sharon, so you find ONE case in which a woman dies after an abortion and say that's a sign for more regulations, but are you aware that childbirth can be more dangerous than ending a pregnancy? All surgical procedures carry some risk, even abortion.

Ben H.
Hans Speidel5 years ago

More evidence that the war on women won't stop until we get a lot more liberal Democrats in office.

Barbara Snowberger

Of course he appointed someone who is anti-abortion! And probably other Governors have or will do the same thing. What else can we expect when we elect people like this? We've got to learn to vote smarter!

Tony C.
Tony C5 years ago

If more women don't realize that THEIR rights are swiftly being taken away by the narrow minded politicians, and if they don't act by voting them out of office, there will come a day when women will ask themselves, what happened to my rights?? By that time it will be too late. The future of women who have to put up with all this injustice of being attacked on contraception, abortion, and closing the Planned Parenthood offices which have helped with cancer screenings, pregnancies and many others is leading them down the path to second class citizenship. Sex Education should be MANDATORY. Women have so much power but they don't realize it, and if they do they don't use it. If women went on strike in the kitchen and the bedroom, I believe things would change quickly and for the better. Look at the voting records of all the politicians and use the Power of YOUR VOTE to keep the politicians that are fighting for your equal rights in and remove any politician of any party that tries to take away your rights. Use Google and utube to find answers for your questions. I Googled if Romney was ever for abortions and found out in 2002 he was definitely PRO CHOICE . Don’t believe me? See for yourself.

Ron B.
Ron B5 years ago

No surprises here. Still more regressive action by one of the numerous extremist Republican "stealth" Governors inserted into office to inflict as much damage as possible to the US on a State-by-State basis during their terms. Compared to the other crimes of the GOP, lying to get elected is one of the minor ones.

Ray M.
Ray M5 years ago

No surprises here from Gov. Ultra Sound. It's just incomprehensible how he ever got elected. Thanks, stupid voters.

Barb Hamerlind
Barbara H5 years ago

GOP " idiot-ology" trumps any shred of common sense yet again.

stewart s.
stew s5 years ago

This backwards right-wing POS governor and the racist, anti-women state he is in charge of is so intent on controlling women, their bodies, and sexual and reproductive choices, the state in question (Virginia) should change its name to Vagina, since it is so interested in women's private parts.

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V5 years ago

Steve R. , you remind me of someone that continues to walk into walls because they are made of glass. This is NOT so much about abortion but CONTROL and WE, the people do NOT need or want someone like YOU telling us how to live our lives. You know Hitler thought he was doing the right thing as well.

Mitch D.
Mitch D5 years ago

Sharon R- ANYTIME ANY ONE of us goes into surgery, there is always a risk of complications and even death. It is BS what Operation Rescue puts out there for public consumption!