Standing for the Rule of Law

“The demurrer is overruled.”

That’s the critical language from the Henrico County Circuit Court Judge earlier this week rejecting the McAuliffe administration’s attempt to shut down a challenge to its lawless actions before the debate could even begin.

When earlier this year the State Board of Health, at the direction and aide of Gov. McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring, ignored the law in at least 22 ways to peel back reasonable health and safety measures for abortion centers, four Virginians, with the help of The Family Foundation, decided to stand up and say ‘Not on our watch.’

If the inspection reports from Virginia’s abortion centers have shown us anything since they first began in 2012 (pursuant to health and safety standards implemented through regulations in 2011), it’s that abortion facilities desperately need oversight and accountability that, until then, they had completely been without.  

For example, Virginia has abortion center operators like Stephen Brigham, who has had his medical license revoked in at least five other states and was arrested in Maryland in December 2011 and charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of second-degree murder after police discovered 34 late-term aborted babies in a bloody freezer at one of his Maryland facilities. And only because of Virginia’s abortion center health and safety regulations that went into effect a month later in January 2012, one of Brigham’s Virginia abortion centers was shut down for good in April 2016 – and by Governor McAuliffe’s own Health Commissioner, no less.

Many hundreds of recorded inspections violations within the now fourteen-remaining facilities statewide have accounted for more than enough proof to demonstrate that women who enter these facilities are by no means safe. Now just imagine how unsafe those women will be in these facilities now that this administration has used the regulatory process to gut most of the substantive portions of those standards.

Certainly, of all people, a Virginia woman of child-bearing age is among those most affected by those actions and has the right to challenge them if they were undertaken illegally. Surely, that person has “standing” in court to demand that the administration follow the law they are tasked with faithfully executing. Well this week, a judge agreed.