Rachel Maddow does a great job of explaining the behind the scenes decisions for these new regulations for abortion clinics. Think about this – the Virginia Board of Health votes to exempt abortion clinics from new rules that would apply only to hospitals. Not so happy about this – the Republican Secretary of State said he wouldn’t certify their results and not only that – he tells the board members that if they are sued … they will have to pay for all of their own legal fees as the state would not protect them from a civil suit. And there ya go – they changed their minds. These new regulations are being created by state government as a way to shut down abortion clinics. This is just adding additional costs to clinics that provide other necessary women’s services like papsmears, mammograms etc.
It could cost a clinic an additional $1 million to satisfy the demands of the new regulations. Remember – conservatives claim to be for “smaller government” and eliminating the burdens of government regulations on businesses … and yet – once again they fail that in every way here. And that’s because abortion providers are being targeted and thus – women are going to lose access to other necessary women’s health services.
There is nothing “conservative” about this.
The Washington Post has the story HERE:
In a reversal, the Virginia Board of Health on Friday approved abortion clinic regulations that include strict building standards that abortion-rights supporters say are aimed at closing down the centers.
Three months after the board backed clinic rules that exempted existing facilities from such strict standards, the board reinstated the provision imposing the new-hospital construction specifications.
The board voted 13-2 to enact the regulations, including the provision requiring all abortion clinics — including the 20 already operating in Virginia — to meet the same architectural standards as new hospitals on issues ranging from doorway widths to room sizes. The board had previously voted 7-4 to exempt existing clinics from the building requirements, but some members changed their minds after Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, an anti-abortion Republican, said they had overstepped their authority and refused to certify the regulations.
Mother Jones adds that the Secretary of State threatened the board members that the state would not protect them if they were sued personally after their initial decision to exempt abortion providers from the rules HERE:
Abortion rights advocates say the board was “bullied” into changing its decision. In a memo sent to board members the Virginian-Pilot obtained this week, the attorney general told board members that the state would not represent them if they were sued in response to their decision. Board member James Edmondson Jr. said that they were “warned” that they could be left to defend themselves on the decision, and may have to cover their own legal fees.
Edmondson offered three different alternative measures at Friday’s meeting in hopes of protect existing clinics that board members—and the legal representative from the AG’s office on hand for the meeting—shot down. “My colleagues,” he implored in the course of debate, “please don’t be cowed by an assertion that you lack authority to do what it is our job to do.”
Board member Anna Jeng argued that this would be the first time that the board subjected existing medical facilities to the standards meant for new buildings. But Allyson Tysinger, a senior assistant attorney general, told the board that because the licensing for abortion clinics is new, all facilities should be considered new. “This board has no authority to grandfather,” she said. In the end, the board voted to approve the alternative language presented by the Department of Health and approved by the AG’s office that will give clinics two years to comply with the new building code. Edmunson and Jeng were the only two members that opposed the state’s proposal.
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