In recent years pro-life advocates have been remarkably successful at instituting new laws regulating abortion clinics; more laws like these have passed in the past two years than in the previous decade combined. As a result, abortion clinics are closing all over the country, particularly the mom-and-pop shops that do not have the deep pockets of the multi-million-dollar Planned Parenthood.
Newly elected Governor Terry McAuliffe, a pro-abortion Catholic, has announced a move that that may result in rolling back or otherwise hampering a 2011 Virginia law requiring all abortion clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers.
While he cannot replace the current Virginia Board of Health, he can expand its membership, which he announced Monday he would do. Five new members are joining the board with explicit instructions to review the new law and the resulting regulations issued by the Board of Health.
Olivia Gans Turner, President of the Virginia Society for Human Life said, “As expected, pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe is working hard to protect abortionists and not the women and unborn babies of Virginia. This effort to undermine Virginia’s reasonable and protective abortion clinic regulations is an example of how committed Governor McAuliffe is to the abortion industry lobby that helped to get him elected.”
Though the 2011 law was passed by the Virginia General Assembly, the specifics of carrying it out were left to the Board of Health. The newly constituted Board of Health could take many actions, including “grandfathering in” and therefore exempting the 20 existing abortion clinics in the state. The board tried to do just this in 2012, though they backtracked after meeting the sharp rebuke of then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.