Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Virginia Department of Health
Board
State Board of Health
chapter
Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities [12 VAC 5 ‑ 412]
Action Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 3/29/2013
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1/31/13  1:07 pm
Commenter: Bridget Kelley-Dearing

Protect women’s access to reproductive health care and put a stop to politics at patient expense!
 

 

 

The regulations threaten the continued availability of safe, legal first-trimester abortion and preventive reproductive health care in multiple locations throughout the state.

 

Extensive, burdensome requirements for clinic buildings that are unrelated to the services health centers provide and have no proven medical benefit will reduce or eliminate patient access to health care.

 

The regulations will increase the financial hurdles to health care for patients, with no proven medical benefit to patients. Women need more access to affordable, high quality health care, not less.

 

If regulations placed on women's health centers are based upon evidence-based medical practices that advance the public health, then women in the Commonwealth will be able to maintain access to vital health care from trusted medical providers.

 

Medically inappropriate and unnecessarily burdensome regulations would restrict access to essential health care services for the women of Virginia and further marginalize young, low-income, uninsured and minority women by decreasing their health care options.

 

The high standard of care provided by women's health centers is proven by their impressive safety record. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. Overregulation will limit access to a wide range of preventive reproductive health care services provided by women's health clinics, including life-saving cancer screenings, family planning, and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment.

 

If clinics that provide abortions are required to meet hospital regulations, then so should all other outpatient clinics such as those that perform plastic surgery, wisdom teeth extraction and colonoscopies. These new rules are a thinly veiled attempt to limit access to abortion services because clinics may be unable to afford to overhaul their buildings and would thus close down. Regulations that clinics meet specific requirements for the width of hallways and doorways, the size of operating rooms, the numbers of parking spots, the size of the janitor’s closets and even the types of water fountains available are unreasonable and must not guide the services we provide for women in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

 

It is my hope that the regulations will be amended to be based purely on medicine and science and should not impede women's access to essential health care.