The Virginia Board of health voted 13-2 to adopt regulations requiring abortion clinics to meet hospital standards. The approved regulations will now return to Attorney General Cuccinelli’s office for certification. Once certified, they will go to Gov. McDonnell who must sign the regulations which will then be open for a public comment period. After the public comment period, the regulations will return to the health board for a final vote next year.
This decision is considered a victory for pro-life advocates because it could force several abortion clinics to shut down for a lack of funding to comply. It is also a victory for women whose health and safety have been protected during abortion procedures. Abortion clinics have two years to comply with the new rules. The clinics may appeal the decision and seek a variance if compliance would force a unique hardship upon the clinic. To get the variance, they must also show patient safety would not be negatively affected.