Remember the old days, when the Republicans used to moan about “the rule of law”? Now they’re perfectly happy to make up their own laws on the spot, as we’re seeing in Virginia right now, where abortion clinics are now held to the same requirements as hospitals. They’re trying to prevent women from having abortions — even though they have a legal right to do so:
RICHMOND, Va. — 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.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!” some critics shouted as board chairman Bruce Edwards of Virginia Beach tried to gavel them into silence and a police officer ushered them out of the packed meeting room. After they were gone and the board recessed, abortion opponents applauded.
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.
Abortion opponents said the regulations will improve health and safety at medical facilities that have long operated without oversight.
“Virginia’s women are better off after today’s vote,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said in a statement. “The hysterical claims of the abortion industry that today’s vote denies access to health care are simply untrue.