NRL News

Virginia Board of Health set to vote Thursday on recommendations to hollow out regulations intended to upgrade abortion clinic facilities

by | Dec 3, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Virginia Health Commissioner Marissa Levine

Virginia Health Commissioner Marissa Levine

There are few words more telling, or more chilling, than that elections have consequences. Last year, pro-abortion Democrat Terry McAuliffe, bolstered by a heavy advantage in campaign funding, edged pro-life Republican Ken Cuccinelli to become the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Everyone knew—because McAuliffe made it clear—that, if elected, he would advance the abortion agenda in every way that he could. One obvious example would his promised all-out assault on attempts to upgrade abortion clinic facilities.

To make an incredibly complicated story relatively straightforward, the specifics of implementing (formulating the rules) for the 2011 law passed by the legislature were left to the state Board of Health. Pro-abortionists successful prevented the rules from taking effect until McAuliffe was elected.

He has been systematically paving the way to gut the rules ever since.

Tomorrow, the Board of Health votes on a proposal to amend the regulations that govern the licensing of the state’s 18 first-trimester abortion clinics.

“The Notice of Intent for Regulatory Action that the panel will consider follows a directive Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued in May for the health department to review the clinic regulations,” according to Jim Nolan, reporting for the Richmond Times-Dispatch (which is pro-abortion to the hilt and hated Cuccinelli, ).

But all that could be for naught if the composition of the 15-member board of health had not changed. But it has, dramatically.

As NRL News Today has reported, and Nolan reminds his readers today, McAuliffe has already replaced five board members–and will likely make another appointment tomorrow at the meeting in Henrico County. He will replace a man who voted for the regulations and “could give the governor a majority of votes necessary to continue the regulatory amendment process uninterrupted”

Pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)

Pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)

And, oh by the way, McAuliffe has already “accelerated the review process for the regulations.”

Abortion clinics have moaned and groaned about the requirement that abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers, if they provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The regulations address such issues as building standards, staff training, sanitation, and equipment standards. They complained that the changes were unneeded and costly.

Not to worry. According to Nolan, “the majority have received temporary, one-year waivers from Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine, a McAuliffe appointee, to continue operating.”

And Levine is McAuliffe’s kind of Commissioner. As we reported back in October, Levine send a letter to McAuliffe saying that because the board did not have the authority to “repeal the regulations outright” (as pro-abortionist activists wanted) instead (according to the Washington Post) she

recommended amending the construction and design rules, better aligning rules for drug storage and dispensing to state code and improving standards for medical testing, lab services, emergencies and anesthesia. She also said rules around parental consent required before an abortion should be clarified.”

If the board approves the Notice of Intent for Regulatory Action Approval, it “will commence a lengthy regulatory review process that could take up to two years before changes are made to the existing regulations.”

Unsaid by Nolan, but obvious, abortion clinics will continue to receive waivers to continue operating just as they please.

“Pro-lifers know that it is imperative to try and protect women from unchecked and unscrupulous abortionists,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginians for Human Life Society, ” but also, ultimately, that abortion facilities can never be made safe places as long as babies are dying there.”

She added, “The regulations are one step of many that would help to shine a light on the despicable practices of the abortion industry which cares little about women and nothing about unborn children.”