Virginia may enact regulations for abortion clinics similar to hospitals and surgery centers after a ruling by Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II.
-- From "Cuccinelli: Virginia has right to regulate abortion clinics" by Matthew Cella, The Washington Times 8/23/10
An opinion issued Friday by the pro-life Republican comes after years of attempts by conservative legislators to pass additional restrictions in the General Assembly for abortion clinics, which in Virginia have been treated for regulatory purposes as physicians' offices.
"The state has long regulated outpatient surgical facilities and personnel to ensure a certain level of protection for patients. There is no reason to hold facilities providing abortion services to any lesser standard for their patients," said Brian J. Gottstein, a spokesman for Mr. Cuccinelli.
"Even pharmacies, funeral homes and veterinary clinics are regulated by the state," he said.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said meeting the structural requirements of the regulations could cost as much as $2 million and would be "financially prohibitive" for abortion providers.
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From "Ken Cuccinelli's End Run on Abortion" by Nicole Allan, a staff editor at TheAtlantic.com 8/25/10
Virginia abortion rights advocates saw it coming. After Ken Cuccinelli, a rising Republican star known for his hard-line stances on most social issues, was elected state attorney general last year, they knew it was only a matter of time before he zeroed in on abortion.
Cucinelli's tactic is not new. In 2001, Mother Jones ran a story about the rise of what abortion rights advocates call TRAP laws, short for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. The article, written by Barry Yeoman and titled "The Quiet War on Abortion," detailed the anti-abortion movement's shift from targeting the legality of the procedure to applying pressure on its providers . . .
According to NARAL Pro-Choice America, varying degrees of TRAP laws have passed in 44 states plus the District of Columbia. . . .
William Hurd, a former solicitor general for the state of Virginia, does not think Cuccinelli has political motives. "The practice has been to call 'em as you see 'em, and that's what the attorney general has done here," he said. "I think the opinion is very carefully crafted, saying that while the boards do have some authority to regulate this, they are also subject to constitutional limitations. Certainly, while people may debate the abortion issue, in terms of pro-life or pro-choice, certainly everyone should agree that women are entitled to good health care."
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