Virginia Passes Abortion Safety Bill
Special Report - February 28, 2011
Legislation adopted last week by the Virginia General Assembly that requires abortion clinics to be regulated as hospitals could result in the state having one of the strongest abortion clinic regulation laws in the nation. The measure, SB 924, passed the Virginia Senate on February 24 with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling breaking the 20 to 20 tie when he voted in favor of the bill, which Governor Robert McDonnell (R-VA) has promised to sign. The legislation requires the Virginia Board of Health to create regulations “containing minimum standards for policies related to infection prevention, disaster preparedness, and facility security of hospitals, nursing homes and certified nursing facilities.” The bill was amended in the Senate at the last minute to include in the requirements “any facility in which five or more first trimester abortions per month are performed, and that such facilities shall be classified as a category of hospital for the purposes of such requirements.” Once the measure becomes law, the Virginia Board of Health has 280 days to create the regulations.
“The much needed regulations will provide greater protection from the dangers of unregulated and under investigated free standing abortion practitioners throughout Virginia,” said Olivia Gans, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, in a press release.
The measure’s passage represents a major victory for pro-life advocates in Virginia, who have been pushing for stricter regulations of the state’s abortion clinics for over a decade. According to abortion proponents, including NARAL-Pro-Choice America, the new law is one of the strictest in the country and could result in the closure of the majority of Virginia’s abortion clinics, where most first-trimester abortions are performed. Currently, according to the pro-abortion NARAL-Pro-Choice America, 25 states, including Virginia and North Carolina, have regulations that require abortions to be performed in hospitals or “other specialized facilities.” In North Carolina, abortion clinic regulations include requirements that all abortions be performed by licensed physicians; that abortion clinics hire a registered nurse with specific medical skills to be in the clinic at all times that patients are present; and that abortions after 20 weeks be performed in a hospital.
To learn more about abortion law in North Carolina, please download our Jan/Feb 2007 feature article in Family North Carolina, “Aborting North Carolina’s Future.”
"Choose Life" Bill Introduced - February 17, 2011
Mixed Reviews On Pro-Life Status - January 25, 2011
Abortions Down In NC, Steady Nationwide - January 18, 2011
SC Governor Signs Pro-Life Bill - August 20, 2010
Oklahoma Lawmakers Defend Life - April 30, 2010
Nebraska Abortion Law Is Model For NC - April 20, 2010
Pro-Life Legislation Enacted Elsewhere - September 28, 2009
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