Since 2011, when The Family Foundation successfully fought to ensure minimum health and safety standards for Virginia abortion centers, the number of licensed abortion centers statewide has fallen by 25% (from 20 to 15) and the number of annual abortions has dropped by 32%. Just how much of these gains can be attributed to the enforcement of health and safety standards, no one can say with certainty. But one thing is clear: with help from common-sense policies like these, we are winning in the battle over life – both for unborn children and their mothers.

Though we often look to numbers as a metric for progress, numbers never tell the whole story. Those numbers represent thousands of individual lives spared and many women receiving safer care at a time and place where they may feel especially vulnerable or even desperate. It is a tragic choice for anyone to willfully end the life of their own child, but even in the midst of that tragedy, pro-lifers recognize that the mother’s life is still every bit as valuable and worthy of protection as her child. Virginia’s health and safety standards ensure, by force of law, that abortion centers recognize that too.

As it turns out, many of these facilities have been found to be far below even the minimum standards of health and safety.  The mandatory state inspections provided for in these regulations enable the outside world to peer into the dark world of abortion centers that is otherwise totally hidden from view. Because of these standards, we are able to expose the terrible conditions and practices within these “clinics” and to prevent abortionists like Kermit Gosnell and Virginia’s own Stephen Brigham from continuing to put women’s lives in jeopardy. In April of this year, that’s exactly what happened to Stephen Brigham’s Fairfax abortion center, when after a 52-page violation report, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s own Department of Health shut it down. Without these standards, that could have never happened.

It’s no wonder then, that the billion dollar abortion industry and its champion Gov. Terry McAuliffe (who received nearly $1.5 million from the abortion industry in his election campaign) is doing everything in its power to strip away every measure of accountability and anything that could dare expose the abysmal conditions within Virginia’s abortion centers.  If the last 5 years have proven anything, it is that this fight is anything but over. For nearly the past three years, The Family Foundation has been combatting at every turn this administration’s persistent efforts to roll back those health and safety standards.

This Monday, Oct. 24th, the State Board of Health is scheduled to vote on whether or not it will undo many of those standards for abortion centers. In essence, the 15 members of the Board will determine whether abortionists will get a “free pass” and a “look the other way” from the state in their standards of care, or whether minimum standards of health and safety that impact women under their care will continue to be enforced. Only God knows how they will decide, but it is clear that whatever they choose will have a significant impact on health, safety, and life in Virginia.

We are looking for anyone who is willing and able to attend the meeting on Monday morning, and even possibly to speak during the public comment time. The meeting officially starts at 9:00 A.M. and will be held at Sheraton Inn Airport (4700 S. Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23231). However, you should plan to arrive as early as possible to account for any delays in getting through lines, security, etc. and to ensure you have a seat in the meeting room. Bring a pro-life sign if you can. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to demonstrate the force of pro-life Virginians and our insistence on the promotion and protection of life and health. Most of all, please pray for the meeting, for the members of the Board as they make their decision, and for all the lives that will be impacted as a result of these standards.

I look forward to standing with you for life this Monday morning, bright and early!