Late this afternoon, Commissioner of Health Marissa Levine sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe listing her recommendations for changes to Virginia’s abortion center health and safety standards. This after the Governor asked for the standards to be reviewed, actually he wants them repealed, at the behest of the $1 billion abortion industry. Interestingly, the letter makes it clear that the Board of Health does not have the “authority to repeal the regulations,” as the abortion industry insists.

She stated that the health and safety standards should be amended in several areas that abortion centers across Virginia have been shown to be abysmally poor, including administration, storing and dispensing of drugs, being prepared for medical emergencies, application of state laws like parental consent and the use of anesthesia. In each of these areas, the Commissioner is recommending the regulations be “more aligned” with “medical best practices.” NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, in its press release today, called the regulations in these areas "medically unnecessary."  That's right, they said that meeting "medical best practices" when administering anesthesia is "medically unnecessary."

The fact is that abortion centers, while claiming to be safe, do not meet medical best practices in any of these areas. Inspection reports have revealed over 400 deficiencies, many related to the areas Dr. Levine wants reviewed. Our hope is that the Board of Health will adopt stronger health and safety standards in these key areas.

The Commissioner also recommended that the “Facility Design and Construction” standards “should be reviewed and updated.” The abortion industry is particularly adamant that its facilities should not be required to have adequate doorways and hallways for emergency personnel to get to patients suffering from health emergencies. It will be interesting to see if the Commissioner and Board of Health agree. She did not, today, as the abortion industry wanted, recommend repeal of the construction standards.

The Commissioner’s letter, frankly, was not very specific or revealing. The abortion industry is celebrating a “win” even though they did not get the repeal of standards that they so desperately wanted. Of course, the industry paid Terry McAuliffe nearly $2 million in hush money during his campaign to get him to repeal the regulations in their entirety. The industry is counting on McAuliffe finding a way to end the public scrutiny of their abortion centers.

Be prepared to join us December 4th at the next Board of Health meeting, where the board will decide whether or not to act on the Commissioner’s recommendations.