Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities [REPEALED] [12 VAC 5 ‑ 412]
Action Amend the Regulation after Assessment and Receipt of Public Comment
Comment Period Ends 10/31/2018
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10/26/18  9:29 pm
Commenter: Maria Good


Many have heard it said that knowledge is power. Kofi Annan went further to say that "information is liberating," that "education is the premise of progress in every society," and that the same "is a human right with immense power to transform."

That is so important as we consider if regulations are necessary in any area of governance, including self governance. It is legal for a woman to make her own healthcare choices including decisions about the unborn she may carry within her own body. The issue seems to be the amount of education and safety a woman should be given in the area of abortion.

I encourage you to consider the historical accounts of portions of society that were not given access to information by means of withholding or making education out of reach. Historically, those would be treated as inferior or even held in captivity to a more educated people group. As a woman who is no longer under suppression of society for my gender, I believe that I and all women should have the right to be completely educated and informed about all healthcare concerns or procedures. Meaning all potential benefits, risks associated with abortion and all alternatives to it. As in any surgical procedure, alternatives should be discussed regardless of cost to the patient or loss of profits to the provider.

One are of contention is whether or not ultrasounds should be made mandatory prior to deciding to have an abortion procedure. An ultrasound is education. It is information that allows a woman another layer of knowledge of what she is considering. Information is indeed liberating if given time to consider her options and not pressured into a decision. As a woman, I am aghast at the idea that someone would pressure my intelligence rather than respect me enough to allow ample time to make informed decisions. I review legal documents before signing, consumer reviews before buying, check safety standards of products I wish to purchase, how much more must I have at least twenty four hours to make serious healthcare decisions after being made aware of all information available to me. Post abortion education must also be provided including mental health information as the decision to abort the unborn is a decision that many women struggle with for a lifetime.

Women also deserve the right to have the utmost in health care safety standards. There is no reason to exempt abortion providers from the same safety and inspection standards of any surgical outpatient facility where cleanliness and proper sanitation are of the utmost in professional standards. To do otherwise is nothing short of misogynistic. Annual inspections do not deny the law that women can legally choose to have an abortion procedure. Inspections ensure that women are treated with respect and integrity. Many businesses outside of healthcare also submit to inspections and random inspections at that to ensure the safety of human life! The Virginia Department of Health should be, then, granted the right to deny, suspend, or revoke, the license to operate an abortion facility for any violations. And how wonderful to have a government agency fighting for the well being of all women. on that note, there used to be a requirement that abortion facilities had to ensure the removal of all fetal body parts from the inside of the patient if an abortion was performed. The reinstatement of this common sense healthcare standard encourages the post abortive physical heath of the female patient. Also the reinstatement of the requirements to make hallways and doorways wide enough for stretchers to get through in case of a life threatening emergency does not hinder a woman's legal right to make her own healthcare decisions- it only provides a safer environment than current substandard women's regulations do.

The most important thing to remember which many women who have here commented seem to have disregarded, is respect. As we wish for the best in healthcare for seniors, for children, for men, we too as women must command the best and safest standards of healthcare for ourselves. We have come too far in the fight for women's equality to settle for anything less. I hope that you will realize that people are more important than politics. 

CommentID: 68377