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Virginia Gov. McDonnell Signs New Common-Sense Abortion Clinic Regulations into Law

by | Dec 31, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

When I read a story in The Hill newspaper this morning, “Planned Parenthood blasts Virginia’s new abortion regulations,” it occurred to me to ask (more or less sincerely) is there ANY piece of legislation, any regulation, any rule, any anything that Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards would NOT say “is an attempt to shut down all abortion providers in the state in a backdoor attempt to ban abortion”?

The new “assault on reproductive freedom” is no more and no less than a set of rules that treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgery centers. “Clinics must meet hospital-type standards mandating the size of exam rooms and the width of hallways,” according to the Washington Post’s Laura Vozzella. “The regulations also establish new requirements for inspections, medical procedures and record-keeping.”

Just a couple of comments. On the one hand pro-lifers in the Commonwealth of Virginia had tried forever and a day to enact these changes. On the other hand, the abortion industry was free as a breeze to do what it wanted in Pennsylvania for reasons that had nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with politics. As the famous Grand Jury report angrily wrote

…[t]he Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety. Without regular inspections, providers like Gosnell continue to operate; unlawful and dangerous third-trimester abortions go undetected; and many women, especially poor women, suffer.”

In both states—and elsewhere—the horrific conditions found at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society generated enough outrage to circumvent the Abortion Industry’s lament that no changes were necessary.

These regulations “are a product of an amendment that passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support,” Taylor Thornley, McDonnell’s deputy communications director, said in a written statement. “The governor believes these common-sense regulations will help ensure that this procedure takes place in facilities that are modern, safe and well-regulated, in order to help ensure the safety and well-being of all patients.”

And just so we’re clear on this, the people of Virginia are firmly behind this, something you never read in the Washington Post. Back in September we wrote about a Quinnipiac University poll that found that the overwhelming 55% to 22% response in favor of “tougher abortion rules” (as the poll’s headline phrased it) transcended all categories—male/female, black/white, Republican/Democratic/Independent.

“There is strong support for the new abortion law among men and women,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute explained.  “Even Democrats, by a plurality [47% to 34%], support the measure.”

Brown added, “Opponents apparently have been unable to convince the electorate that this is an unwarranted back-door way to stop abortions.”    And Brown is correct: that is the tack taken by pro-abortionists which has not resonated with Virginians, as revealed in a follow-up question.

Supporters of this proposed change say it is needed to safeguard the health of women who get abortions; Opponents say the changes are mainly expensive structural changes and are just an effort to force many clinics who cannot afford them out of business. 

Asked which they agreed with, by a whopping 50% to 33%, the public agreed the change safeguards the health of women getting abortions.

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