Board of Health to Amend Rules for Abortion Centers . . . Again!

The abortion lobby is at it again. After years of regulatory efforts under the McAuliffe administration to significantly undercut the common-sense health and safety standards for abortion centers (which led to our ongoing lawsuit against the Board of Health after it broke the law repeatedly in the process), Ralph Northam’s administration has decided that his predecessor didn’t go far enough.

Earlier this month, the Board of Health published an official Notice of its intent to carve up the regulations governing abortion center standards even more. But the way it went about it is truly unprecedented. Unlike the normal process of specifying the types of changes a state agency intends to make to certain regulatory sections and then seeking public comment on them, the Board of Health has simply decided to leave the entire Chapter wide open to any and all changes that suit their fancy, based upon whatever their pro-abortion cohorts call for through public comments.

They have effectively set up a free-for-all smorgasbord of handouts to the abortion industry, in which the Board has given itself the boundless ability to do whatever it wants. While this latest stunt is probably unlawful, our experience reminds us that the law is no obstacle to the abortion-minded Board of Health. With a pending lawsuit that appears likely to overturn most of the Board’s previous changes to these very regulations, you would think they would eventually learn a lesson. 

Nevertheless, this does present a prime opportunity to provide the Board of Health with recommendations for health and safety measures that will actually help protect vulnerable women and children and hold this notoriously shady industry to account. 

It’s important that we make sure the pro-life, pro-women, pro-safety message is heard and well represented. 

Follow this link to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall to leave your comment urging the Board of Health to implement strong health and safety measures that will protect vulnerable women and hold the abortion industry accountable. (See below for a list of suggestions.

Years of inspection reports have produced evidence of hundreds of egregious safety violations inside these abortion centers. And most of those were reported under the McAuliffe administration’s own oversight. One abortion center was even closed down after Governor McAuliffe’s own Commissioner of Health suspended its license after a 70-page report of violations. 

Virginia’s abortion facilities need more oversight, not less. Share your thoughts about this with the Board of Health today! 

Here are a few changes we recommend the Board make:

  1. Reinstate all of the health and safety measures the Board unlawfully watered down during its last amendment process. 

  2. Require all OLC inspections to verify that ultrasounds have been performed at least 24 hours prior to every abortion performed. 

  3. Require annual inspections on abortion facilities instead of biennial. 

  4. Remove the ability of the Commissioner to grant permanent variances.

  5. Reinstate the definition of "first trimester" as being the first twelve weeks from conception, not "13 weeks and 6 days after last menstrual period." 

  6. Reinstate the ability of the department to deny, suspend, or revoke the license to operate an abortion facility for violating "any provision of Article 1 (§ 32.1-123 et seq.) of Chapter 5 of Title 32.1."

  7. Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities provide information on post-abortion counseling to its patients.

  8. Reinstate the requirement that the abortion facility ensure that it has removed all of the fetal body parts from inside of the female patient upon the performance of an abortion. 

  9. Reinstate the requirement that abortion facilities report to OLC any incidents reported to the malpractice insurance carrier.

  10. Reinstate the reasonable design and construction standards that provided for things such as hallways wide enough to carry patients out on stretchers in cases of emergency.