Proposed Abortion Clinic Standards
Special Report - September 18, 2012
In a victory for women’s safety, all abortion clinics in Virginia will be required to be licensed by the state and to meet the same building standards that apply to new hospitals. In 2011, the Virginia Legislature passed a law concerning minimum standards for new hospitals related to “construction and maintenance; operation, staffing and equipping; staff qualifications and training; as well as requirements for policies related to infection prevention, disaster preparedness, and facility security.” According to a letter from the Alliance Defending Freedom to the State Health Commissioner, “The regulations are a compilation of standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Joint Commission.” In June, the Virginia Board of Health “approved proposed regulations for the licensure of abortion facilities” that conflicted with some portions of the hospital building standards law passed last year. Particularly concerning to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and pro-life advocates was the Board’s initial decision to exempt existing abortion clinics from being licensed and therefore from being required to meet the same standards as new hospitals.
At its September 14 meeting, the Virginia Board of Health approved changes to its proposed regulations governing abortion clinics to bring them in line with current Virginia law. Among the changes, are:
- Efforts to make the regulations “more thorough, comprehensive, and transparent.”
- “Revisions to make the permanent regulations consistent with recent amendments to Virginia’s Informed Written Consent for Abortion statute.”
- “Revisions to ensure that those abortion facility employees who are legally-mandated to report suspected child abuse comply with those requirements.”
- “Revisions to provide that in order to determine whether the abortion facility is in compliance with design and construction requirements, the commissioner may obtain additional information from the facility or its architect concerning the design and construction of the facility.”
The approved revisions now go to the State Attorney General “to begin the Executive Branch review process.” If approved by the Executive Branch, the proposed rules would be made available for public comment for 60 days. Those comments would then be analyzed by the Virginia Board of Health in order to complete work on a final version of the regulations.
Virginia’s abortion clinics have come under increased scrutiny in light of recent media reports of clinics storing the remains of aborted children in freezers and failing to clean blood splatters on operating tables between procedures.
“Abortion clinics should be held to the same health and safety standards as all other medical facilities,” according to ADF senior counsel Casey Mattox in a press release on the change. “Their resistance to such standards exposes their real attitude toward women. Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar corporation that performs an abortion every 95 seconds. If they are going to profit from killing innocent life, it is not too much to expect that they meet basic standards to protect women’s health.”
Arizona Abortion Ban Halted - August 2, 2012
Oklahoma Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks - April 25, 2011
SD Enacts 3-Day Abortion Waiting Period - March 25, 2011
Virginia Passes Abortion Safety Bill - February 28, 2011
"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
Majority of Americans Now Pro-Life - May 19, 2009
Majority of Americans Favor Laws Limiting Abortions - January 12, 2009
Healthcare Debate Over Abortion - October 26, 2009
U.S. Senate Approves Pro-Life Amendment - March 4, 2008
Copyright © 2012. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.