Friday vote on new TRAP law may decimate abortion access in Virginia

This is not good, y’all. Kate at Mother Jones gives us the details:

Under pressure from conservative politicians, the Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to reverse an earlier decision that would have protected the state’s existing abortion clinics from strict new regulations. All clinics that provide first-trimester abortions now have two years to modify their facilities to be more like full-scale hospitals. That means many of the clinics could be forced to either make expensive renovations or stop offering abortion services altogether. Often called “targeted regulation of abortion providers,” or “TRAP” laws, these rules focus specifically on abortion providers with the intent, reproductive rights advocates say, of making it extremely difficult for clinics to operate.

The board’s 13-to-2 flip-flop provoked an outraged chorus of “shame, shame,” from abortion rights advocates gathered in the meeting room. Security swiftly ushered protesters out of the room, as one woman yelled, “You don’t give a shit about women living in Virginia!”

Funny thing is that the board made this decision after board members received a letter from the attorney general  informing them that the state wouldn’t represent them if they were sued in response to the decision: “Board member James Edmondson Jr. said that they were ‘warned’ that they could be left to defend themselves on the decision, and may have to cover their own legal fees.”

Needless to say, pro-choice Virginians are up in arms, as we should all be. Read the rest here and check in with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia on how to take action.

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One Comment

  1. Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for covering this! I just posted in the community blog about what’s going on here in Virginia:

    community.feministing.com/2012/09/16/why-your-religion-has-nothing-to-do-with-abortion-one-outraged-virginians-perspective/

    It’s so frustrating. The BoH is supposed to be an independent, non-partisan group of medical experts who are there to PREVENT the politicization of medicine. The Attorney General had no right to refuse to sign their grandfather clause, let alone to threaten them. During the actual proceedings, the one BoH member really arguing for it cited other precedents for hospitals being grandfathered in and Every. Single. One. got voted down on a 13-2 vote.

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