Health Commissioner ‘Self-Deports’ From A Hostile Anti-Choice Government

The abortion wars have gotten so bad in Virginia that Dr. Karen Remley, State Health Commissioner, resigned in protest over restrictive new TRAP regulations pushed through by the radical anti-choice wing of the state Republican party.

According to Remley the new regulations for abortion clinics made doing her job impossible. She said the Department of Health had started implementing the new building regulations for abortion clinics, but the new licensing rules, which require clinics meet same architectural standards as new hospitals had “created an environment in which my ability to fulfill my duties is compromised and in good faith I can no longer serve in my role.”

Remley also said in her resignation letter that all 20 abortion facilities in Virginia that would be eligible for licensing have been inspected and will be fully licensed within the next few days.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, one of the forces behind the new laws and the man who most politicized the entire affair, called the resignation a political statement. “People are venting frustration in our direction over a law they don’t like. Even as AG, I have to enforce laws that I don’t like. And we enforce those just as vigorously as those we do like,” he said. ”The rule of law is absolutely critical — and I am sorry she doesn’t appreciate the course this particular decision goes by the board — not by me. She’s expressed her opinion and we have a First Amendment for that, too. So God Bless her.”

The only political move here has Cuccinelli who, with Gov. Bob McDonnell’s blessing, railroaded through regulations designed to make it impossible for women in the state of Virginia to access abortion care. Even worse, he and McGovern so politicized women’s health care in the state that true, non-partisan advocates like Remley simply couldn’t continue working and left. It’s as though the radical anti-choice wing of the conservative movement took a page out of the radical anti-immigrant wing to create the functional equivalent of “self-deportation” for women’s health advocates.

The good news is Remley, under extraordinary circumstances, managed to get all the clinics licensed under the new law. The question is, will her replacement show such dedication? If McDonnell and Cuccinelli have their way, the answer is pretty clearly no.


Related Stories:

Virginia Changes Its Mind, Betrays Women Again

Virginia Anti-Abortion Regulations In Limbo

Clinics May Close Because of Virginia Anti-Abortion Regulations


Photo from jonanthan mcintosh via flickr.


Susan Allen
SusanAWAY Allen5 years ago

This will be my 4th attempt to get this to post :(

Sarah H., you do say some strange things. Why do you believe an abortion clinic should be able to perform mammograms? Perhaps, I missed some other post talking about mammograms which would make your statement seem pertinent and if so, apologies.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

I believe abortion should be legal but with limitations. They should be the exception not the rule! They should have to live up to the same standards as any hospital.

They do NOT perform mammograms. They don't even own a machine.

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Paula M, actually the people most likely to give up their US citizenship are those who have huge assets they want to protect from US taxes. They don't just move their money off-shore, but themselves as well.

John Hablinski
John Hablinski5 years ago

@Karen > Sharon Beth, the most ungodly facet of the entire situation is Republicans couldn’t care less. This is literally their modern day witch hunt and they are trying to kill those whom they, in their sick minds, consider sinners and deserving of death. They just don’t have the courage to hand out the sentences and inject the killing-drugs. This way they can deny responsibility for the blood on their hands.

Penny C.
penny C5 years ago


janice b.
jan b5 years ago

I was reading a historical novel and parts of history they kept out of school-books. In the early America the men in VA reserved chair-dunking and flogging for women only. If a woman was suspected of straying, she got stripped to the waist and flogged..... not the man. Instead of flogging the Governor in modern America decided a women needed to be threatened by having to endure an embarrassing, painful vaginal-probe if she wants an abortion. Virginia thinks everyone should be free except women.....isn't that similiar to the taliban ? .

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

Men figure they outnumber women so they can throw their weight around and treat women like livestock.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

The lawmakers of Virginia must think they are back in 1912 where they plan to keep women barefoot and pregnant and of course deny them an education. What they are doing to the women of that state is a disgrace. I certainly hope there are some people who can reverse the discrimination thats going on against the women of that state. They don't deserve what's happening to their rights.

Karen Howard
Karen H5 years ago

Sharon Beth, I agree that abortion clinics need to ensure the health of the patients. Unfortunately, when states decide to make abortion illegal, women will go back to the back alleys where many of them die. I lost a high school friend that way, and the world lost a very wonderful, loving and productive young woman.

Paula M.
Paula M5 years ago

I find it strange that progressives will sometimes talk or "joke" about leaving the country when they dislike the prevailing political winds. I never hear this sort of talk from conservatives.

My best guess as to why this is so is that some progressives consider themselves "citizens of the world," whereas for conservatives there is no other place to go.