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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3/5/13  3:37 pm
Commenter: Andrew M. Klein, M.D.

Board of Health Autonomy in the Face of TRAP Regulations
 

I am Dr. Andrew Klein, a former member of The Board of Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology, one of your ancillary boards.   Like you, I was proud of my role and the charter under which we operated to provide guidance and regulations that affected every Virginian across The Commonwealth.  But as I look back, I realize just how easy our job was.  We never had such emotionally charged issues like this, as you try to navigate between the conflicting forces affecting your decisions.

But this is Virginia, where the House of Burgesses stood up against King George’s appointed Governor.  The same Virginia where Patrick Henry vowed his support for liberty, and the Virginia where George Washington, answered the call to lead his neighbors against a tyrant.  And whether or not you respected Robert E. Lee’s support of the Confederacy, you must acknowledge his quiet dignity in standing up for his beliefs.  And Virginia is also the birthplace and eternal resting place of Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in the history of the Corps, for his fighting in distant lands to support our ideals of freedom.

But then again, this is Virginia, where this very Board has been intimidated, even threatened with financial ruin, by the Attorney General to vote his way, regardless of each member’s  personal inclinations.  I know that each of you took this position as public servants to help this Commonwealth with matters related to Medicine and Health, but to do your job effectively and with honor, you must have the autonomy that this job requires.  I am certain that you realize, as members of this Board, that you cannot speak nor act against the powers of the Attorney General.  But once you are no longer members of this Board, you will be free of intimidation and reprisal.  Therefore I ask each of you, all of you, to look into your hearts, steel your resolve, and stand up for Virginia and proudly demonstrate your resistance by resigning from this Board.  Show that you will not be  manipulated; rather, demonstrate that you support your Board’s mandate to be impartial citizens working on the behalf of all Virginians.  This issue transcends personal political leanings and the common ground where you meet is the demand for autonomy of this Board.  This action must be taken before the end of the 60 day public comment phase, and final resolution of the regulations are forced upon you.

If all of you resign, a loud, clear message will be sent, and heard.  If only a few do so, and a quorum can no longer be met, then it could still be an effective message, which is that the Virginia Board of Health will not be bullied into submission.  Let new Board members be appointed in your stead, but you will know that they, too, will have heard your voices, and witnessed that you have done your work with honor.

Thank you.