The Virginia Board of Health voted 11-2on Friday “to require abortion clinics to meet strict, hospital-style building codes” that many women’s health advocates say will put abortion providers out of business and prevent women from accessing essential medical services.
Pending final review by conservative state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) — which is almost definite — Virginia is now one step closer to joining other GOP-led states such as North Dakota, Mississippi, and Alabama in imposing stringent regulations meant to arbitrarily shut down abortion clinics.
Friday’s vote represents the latest skirmish in an ongoing conservative war on abortion clinics. In the past three months, states have proposed an astonishing 694 provisions restricting or rolling back women’s reproductive rights. Efforts to shutter local abortion clinics disproportionately impact low-income women and significantly increase the incidence unintended pregnancies.