According to the Virginia Division of Vital Records, the Virginia abortion rate dropped 18 percent between 2007 and 2011 (see LifeNews.com). The number of abortions dropped significantly after Virginia passed a parental consent law, as alternatives to abortion centers — such as  pregnancy resource centers — increased, and as cultural support for abortion decreased.

In the most recent numbers recorded and released by the commonwealth, there were 27,292 abortions in 2011. But that number dropped to 23,635 in 2011. 

The better news is that the improving numbers do not reflect the recent abortion center health and safety standards, nor the updated informed consent law that gives mothers the opportunity to view their babies' ultrasounds prior to deciding whether to proceed with an abortion. Their effects on the abortion rate won't be known for some time.

Last week, the busiest abortion center in Virginia — and the second since spring — decided to close its doors. The Mainstream Media is reporting that NOVA Women's Healthcare closure is due to the new abortion center health and safety standards. But the Fairfax City City Council rejected its zoning application to move to a different facility (see Washington Post Local Blog). Then it passed an ordinance that classifies future abortion centers as medical facilities, requiring special permits and city council approval.

The owners of the facility may blame the standards to cover their own mismanagement. In fact, though, the abortion center was in a running dispute over lease violations and unpaid rent. The building owners sued and, as a result, it agreed not to renew the lease. According to The Washington Post, the lawsuit also said that:

NOVA clients had been seen regularly inside the building "lying down in corridors . . . and, in some instances, even vomiting." One filing said witnesses would testify that this was a daily occurrence.

NOVA Women's Healthcare is owned by Dr. Mi Yong Kim. Dr. Kim surrendered her medical license in 2007 after a series of investigations by the Board of Medicine, but still continued to own NOVA Women's Healthcare abortion center. In 1997, she performed an abortion on a woman she inaccurately estimated to be eight weeks pregnant that led to complications, hospitalization and a hysterectomy because the baby actually was more than 26 weeks old. In 2002, a woman under Dr. Kim's "care" died from cardiac arrest after Dr. Kim improperly administered an anesthetic, failed to diagnose the cardiac arrest and did nothing to resuscitate her other than to instruct her staff to put an oxygen mask on the woman and call 911.

Such mismanagement and lack of "patient care" is exactly why Virginia needed to adopt health and safety standards. The profit-driven abortion industry simply is incapable of governing itself. While it can continue to hysterically claim that these new health and safety standards forces its abortion centers to close and deny women other health services, nothing in the health and safety standards requires abortion centers to stop providing other services. The owners merely have to choose whether or not to meet the health and safety standards to continue performing abortions. The abortion industry has to determine exactly how important it is for it to continue offering those other services. It appears it would rather make a political statement than provide care.