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Va. approves strict new rules for ABORTION CLINICS | Steve Contorno | Politics | Washington Examiner

September 16, 2011

Va. approves strict new rules for abortion clinics

By: Steve Contorno | 09/15/11

Examiner Staff Writer

Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP Victoria Cobb, left, president of the pro-life Family Foundation, brought her 3-week-old daughter to a meeting of the Virginia State Board of Health in Henrico County, Va., on Thursday, where the agenda was abortion clinic regulations.

After hearing from more than 30 speakers during hours of debate, the Virginia Board of Health on Thursday approved sweeping changes to abortion-clinic regulations that abortion-rights groups say will close many of the state’s 22 clinics.

Acting under a mandate from the Legislature, the board passed the new rules on a 12-1 vote. The emergency regulations, favored by pro-life advocates, give the state more control over facilities that provide five or more first-trimester abortions per month and requires those facilities to abide by regulations normally reserved for hospitals.

By the start of 2012, clinics would be required to renovate their buildings to comply with the same standards now applied to hospital surgery centers, including larger operating rooms and bigger parking lots. Women’s health advocates insist the new regulations are unduly burdensome and a roundabout attempt to close down the clinics.

“The sad fact is that the new regulations have no proven medical benefit to patients and, instead, will only serve to further limit patient access to abortion care as well as life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, and the wide range of preventive care provided at women’s reproductive health centers,” the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health said.

via Va. approves strict new rules for abortion clinics | Steve Contorno | Politics | Washington Examiner.

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