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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3/3/13  9:11 am
Commenter: Leslie Blackwell

I Regret My Abortions-Clinic Safety Regulations
 

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I believe I offer a unique perspective on this ultra sensitive issue for several reasons.  First and foremost, I AM A POST-ABORTIVE WOMAN…twice! I spoke publicly for the first time at the meeting in September 2012. Yes, you bet I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit the truth but I couldn’t hide it anymore.­­... I couldn’t carry the burden and be silent any longer. You see, ­­I know first-hand the intimate details of what it feels like to undergo a medical procedure to abort a child in the womb.

That was over 30 years ago…I was getting ready to graduate from college …and had just gotten word that I was hired for my first job in television. It was a dream come true and I was so excited.

At about the same time, I also found out I was pregnant. I weighed my options quickly and it was a “no brainer”… my new TV career was much more important than this inconvenient pregnancy growing inside me. I had to get rid of it and fast! That was my mindset. I was 21 years old and so very frightened.

I can assure you the last thing on my mind when I walked in to that abortion clinic was safety standards …I just prayed they wouldn’t hurt me. Ashamed and humiliated, I walked with my head down, not wanting to make eye contact with anybody; much less looking around to make sure it was a safe and sterile environment. Even if it was unsafe, or something went wrong, who was I going to tell or report a problem to?  This was my big secret and no one could find out.  I just wanted the nightmare to be over.  And it was… temporarily… until I found myself in the same position a year later.

But that’s a story for another time. I can guarantee you though…I wasn’t concerned about any safety regulations …I only hoped I wasn’t putting myself at risk again.

I buried the emotional pain and memories deep in my soul and moved on with my life, feeling hollowed out, but strained forward in my motherhood, marriage, career, and community involvement.

 

I became a strong pro-choice advocate and spent many years fighting to protect women’s reproductive rights. At times I was militant! The radical feminist inside me angrily argued the issue, even lobbying lawmakers in the General Assembly. In fact, I was ready to accept a Board position on the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood. 

 

Well…That was then and this is now…and I am no longer comfortable fighting against life.  I’m here today because I must stand up and fight for the safety of women in the Commonwealth.

 

As I wrap up my testimony, I offer a very basic question for the Board of Health.

 

-If you are truly committed to the health and safety of women in Virginia…doesn’t it make common sense that you will choose to do everything in your power to provide the highest safety standards available?

 

Thank you for your time…And by the way, I AM NOT MY ABORTION! I’m Leslie… a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend...and a passionate Pro-Life supporter!

 

Please make the right choice! Thank you!

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