Yesterday, at a meeting of the Virginia Board of Health, a nurse and member Board noted at that she, for the first time, read some of the abortion center inspection reports. Unengaged on this issue at prior meetings, she now urged that the serious violations be promptly addressed by the Department of Health and advised immediate action. This was the first meeting where the Department of Health had provided Board members with the inspection reports that we’ve been telling you about for two years. And when they actually read these reports for themselves, it’s amazing to see how some Board members begin to realize how unsafe these abortion centers really are and what a lower standard they’re being held to than other medical facilities. It’s exactly what we’ve been saying all along. At yesterday’s meeting, no action was taken on the Commissioner of Health’s suggested changes to Virginia’s current abortion center health and safety standards, but the issue was front and center and discussed at length. First, I want to thank all of you who participated in the recent public comment period. Those who supported keeping the standards strong vastly outnumbered opponents to the safety standards – 2,681 in support to 1,755 in opposition. (Unlike the last meeting, where Department staff trumpeted the numbers when they were not in our favor, this time it took a question from a board member to get staff to tell which side had the most comments!)
Second, the Department announced that it has created a “severity matrix” to differentiate between serious violations of public health at abortion centers and those pesky little standards that “aren’t serious.” The more serious problems are now supposed to initiate re-inspections … although no time constraints were placed on when these re-inspections would occur.
But so far, the Department has taken no serious actions against the centers that have already egregiously violated the health standards. Incredibly, the Department said that it does not have the authority to initiate fines even if they are called for by the Code of Virginia. The Commissioner said the only power the Department has is to suspend, revoke or deny a license to a facility – something they clearly are reluctant to do when it comes to abortion.
Of course, every round of inspections finds more and more violations of health and safety standards, and state and federal laws. Two days ago, we told the media that recent inspections found multiple violations of state and federal drug laws. You can read the entire press release here. These violations included untrained staff handling narcotics, a complete lack of oversight and record keeping involving drugs, problems that if they occurred at any medical facility would result in serious legal action and loss of medical licenses – but not at abortion centers. There were also more examples of parental consent law being ignored, and a continuing lack of proper basic health care hygiene.
One thing we do know – we will continue to expose what these inspections are finding and will inform you. Because the “media” continues to be complicit in covering up these violations, we need you to help by forwarding emails like this one to as many of your friends and family as possible! People need to know what’s really happening in Virginia’s abortion centers, and you are the only one that can help.
You can click here to listen to a radio interview I did yesterday on the Rob Schilling Show in Charlottesville on this issue.