Virginia Changes Its Mind, Betrays Women Again

In a testament to the power of political pressure, the Virginia Board of Health reversed itself and voted 13 to 2 to impose medically unnecessary regulations on abortion providers.

The regulations, pushed for by radical anti-choice attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, are designed to drive providers out of business and out of the state. They require new requirements that include making clinics comply with the same architectural standards for new hospitals.

Under the original bill that created these regulations, the state’s Board of Health had 280 days to create and enact these new TRAP regulations because Cuccinelli and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) pushed the legislation through the state’s “emergency” status for passing legislation. The effect of such a procedural move is to shorten the length of time for the board and the public to review and comment on the regulations.

In short, they knew the regulations wouldn’t be popular and they wanted to cut out as much of the democratic process as possible in order to get them passed.

But when the Board of Health refused to cooperate with the McDonnell and Cuccinelli coup, choosing instead to exempt existing reproductive health providers from the new regulations it seemed for a moment that cooler heads had prevailed. Unfortunately that was not the case.

“We are stunned by [the] vote, and extremely disappointed in the thirteen Board of Health members who decided to put political ideology before evidence-based scientific fact,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.  “It is unprecedented to force existing health centers to comply with building regulations intended for new construction, and the Board acted well within its authority in voting to amend these regulations in June,” Keene said. “We will continue  to stand for women’s health, despite this administration’s attempt to silence us. Virginians are sick of playing politics with women’s lives.”

The regulations now must be approved by Gov. McDonnell after another round of public comments, but given how hard McDonnell pushed for these regulations there’s little reason to think he wont promptly approve the board’s vote. That means that thanks to the board’s vote several clinics across the state will be threatened with closure by the state in the coming months unless they can undertake the time and expense necessary to comply with the law.


Related Stories:

Virginia Anti-Abortion Regulations In Limbo

Clinics May Close Because Of Virginia Anti-Abortion Regulations

As Clinics Close, More Women Are Left Without Choices


Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr.


Valerie F.
Valerie F.5 years ago

Peace, folks. I come from a time (13 years old in 1951) where the ONLY PLACES that anyone could get an abortion were 1) Puerto Rico and 2) Canada. That was the ONLY CHOICE THAT ANY UNWED MOTHER HAD FOR ABORTIONS.

Came 1971 and everything changed. Now, abortions are 'only' performed in large American cities. Imagine the joy if this had been the case in 1951!!!! Ladies---count your blessings and go to New York, LA, Chicago, or any of the other big cities in SoCal, or NORTH of the Mason-Dixon line in these United States of America. Had those choices ONLY BEEN AVAILABLE in 1951, my friend would not have drank Clorox and died trying to abort her accidental pregnancy (no womens' clinics, no female birth control and NO PILL back then, either!).

Quit trying to reform these willful backwaters of America, and go to big cities. Go any way you can. Those of us who could afford it back then, went to PR. Those who couldn't, drank Clorox. These Republican Pigs have no smarts and so, no mercy. Quit dealing with them, at least now in this country there ARE places where you can 1) get birth control* and 2) get an abortion.

*Dr. John Rock was an ardent Catholic, who invented "the pill" in 1951 because he knew that womens' periods and ovulation times did not often coincide, and therefore the Catholic approved "rhythm method" which the Church touted as the 'only acceptable birth control method that exists within the strictures of the Church' was actually the recipe fo

Elaine S.
Elaine S.5 years ago

It always bothers me when I see people say "Abstinence is the only way" because it's like they don't realize that it takes two to tango. If a women abstain, then so must men-- Or do these people not realize where sperm come from?

But of course, it's much easier to punish women for having sex than punishing men. We've been told that "boys will be boys" and it's okay if men have sex because that's just what they do! But if women do it, then they must be punished.

It just makes me so sad.

aileen cheetham
AILEEN C5 years ago

Men, OMG what do they know about it all??

Leisha Wharfield
Leisha Wharfield5 years ago

I thought Virginia was for lovers!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen5 years ago

Interesting, thanks

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se5 years ago


Carla van der Meer

How dare they say they 'stand for women's health'??? They don't give a damn about women or our health, or anything else about us for that matter. I will Not be told what to do with My body by someone who will NEVER ever be pregnant, or deal with the very real risks, side effects, high cost and yes, inconvenience of carrying a fetus. We get it republicans, you don't like us.. but if you think Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, you haven't seen anything like many women deprives of the basic liberty to decide what to do with their own bodies!

Michael G.
Michael T5 years ago

This is my statement to Mitt, Ann and Paul


Das Amerika is nicht fur Gefingerpoken und Mittengraben.

Is easy schnappen der Springenwerk, Blowenfusen und Poppencorken mit Spitzensparken.

Ist nicht fur gewerken by das Dummkopfen.

Das rubbernecken sightseeren mormon keepen hands in das pockets.

Relaxen und vatch das Blinkenlights.

Gayle R.
Gayle R5 years ago

Against abortion? Have a vasectomy.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Operation Rescue is dedicated to ending abortion in the US- and all women's access to birth control. They will tell any lie, hound Planned Parenthood and support murder of abortion providers to further their extreme religious agenda. The Taliban would love them..