Terry McAuliffe’s Board of Health just can’t seem to help itself. When it isn’t ignoring or violating the law, it’s contradicting itself. At least when it comes to the issue of abortion.
At what promised to be an uneventful meeting yesterday with little reason for conflict, the Board was again forced by one of its members to deal with the issue of abortion center safety standards.
One of the first actions by the Board came after one member made a motion to end what had become a staple of the meetings – the “Abortion Facility Licensure Status Report.” Unusual in that it was the only report of facilities licensed by the Department of Health that was required to be given at each meeting, staff usually gave vague data on “complaints” against facilities and rarely about what was found in inspections. Arguing for the motion, one member – a McAuliffe appointee – said they should end the reports because of “pending litigation” regarding actions by the Board. Another Board member responded that the litigation has nothing whatsoever to do with the reports.
Board members in favor of quashing the reports also argued that they didn’t want to “elevate” review of abortion centers over all the other health entities the Board regulates. In opposition, others argued that because public interest in the abortion center standards far exceeded its interest in any other action ever taken by the Board, the report seemed reasonable.
The arguments in favor of the reports fell on deaf ears, however, and the Board voted to end the reporting.
Ironically, it was those on the Board who were viscerally opposed to the health and safety standards for abortion centers who several years ago demanded that the report be given at each meeting! Now, those opposed to the standards argued and voted against the report. Originally, it was pro-abortion Board members who asked to “elevate” the notoriety of abortion centers over everything else, but now they oppose that idea. In other words, they were for it before they were against it.
Well, given the Board has eviscerated the standards to the point of making inspections nearly meaningless, one could see how there would be little reason for regular updates. At this point, public health inspectors who go into abortion centers can overlook bloody, unsterilized equipment, violations of state drug laws, untrained staff members who don’t wash hands between patients, and a host of other health threats since the Board determined those standards to be too onerous for poor, poor abortion centers.
Then again, outside of writing these kinds of violations on an inspection report and then accepting what amounted to little more than pinky promises from abortion centers that they’d “do better next time,” it’s not like the Department of Health held abortion centers accountable anyway.
The action by the Board really is just another effort to allow abortion centers in Virginia to once again hide behind a veil of politically motivated secrecy. Terry McAuliffe’s Board of Health has done all it can to single abortion centers out from being held to the same standards as other similar medical facilities, and now it wants them to go back to operating in the dark.
Our goal is to make that as difficult as possible! That’s why we’re supporting the lawsuit against the McAuliffe administration’s blatant disregard of the law in its zealous effort to roll back abortion center standards. Learn more about the case and how you can help here.
But that’s not all we have planned. More on that in the coming months…