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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3/13/13  12:46 pm
Commenter: Heather

New Regulations for Women's Health Care
 
Dear Sir/Ma'am:
 
I am writing regarding the suggested new regulations to women's health care. As a woman, and as an EQUAL to all people in America, including men, I feel that these proposed regulations are sexist, unfair, and go against women's freedom and the quality of their health care. These regulations threaten the continued availability of safe, legal first-trimester abortion and preventive reproductive health care in multiple locations throughout the state and to try and comprehend why anyone would even consider this threat is impossible. These regulations, that will reduce or eliminate patient (women indeed) access to health care is truly removing a right that we, as women, have. How can one be even remotely "okay" with this?
 
In addition to these regulations increasing the financial burdens that so many patients already face, they also have no proven medical benefit to patients. What I can't and never will be able to understand is how our country, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!, can actually justify funding such things as Viagra for men and testosterone pharmaceuticals for them to increase their libido, yet not provide women access to high quality health care that is affordable and covers such important things as birth control and, yes, even abortion. Imagine your daughter, your wife, your sister being raped, for example, and getting pregnant because she either couldn't afford or was not allowed access to birth control or abortion. The IMMENSE emotional and mental scarring on her are already there from the rape, but then to have to deal with a pregnancy as a result because she couldn't afford or was denied access to birth control or, if she chose, an abortion can lead to even greater emotional and mental and even physical scarring, which as you are aware of, has even lead women to suicide.
 
I speak as a concerned AMERICAN WOMAN, a women who was born in the greatest country of all and why is that?...it's because of the freedoms we have. To look back in history and think about how once African-Americans or even the Native Americans were treated or even almost looking at complete annihilation (Native Americans), that African Americans were once denied the privilege to vote, to sit anywhere on a bus, to drink from the same water fountain as a white person...and of course, this is after they were treated like animals throughout slavery, well this is just an abomination!!! To even imagine continuing the legacy of denying certain Americans such privileges as health care that is affordable and the RIGHT TO CHOOSE regarding being on birth control or having an abortion in the 1st trimester is not only a set back in our country's gains of freedom and rights, but is unfathomable.
 
For so long, the majority of policy makers regarding such things fall into the hands of mostly men. What I will never comprehend is how any man can ever TRULY put himself in the shoes of a woman and not have these freedoms, choices, and even just rights such as affordable health care. You know as well as I do, this would NEVER happen. What does this lead to, a sexist outlook, a sexist society...and in THIS COUNTRY? How sad!!!
 
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. If you will even consider "thinking outside of the box" and imagine your daughter or your wife, whether how she is now or back when she was younger, before she met you, or your mother, any woman that is close to you, not having these rights. Maybe you think or say to yourself, "Well, the females that are close to my heart would never consider such things as abortion, etc," is plain ignorant. Do you know how many young female adults and even older females face this incredibly hard decision at times and know that it's best for them to either be on birth control or if they end up pregnant, even if they used a condom or other protection, BECAUSE, YES, THAT DOES HAPPEN, have an abortion, yet NEVER tell the men in their lives (their sons, husbands, fathers, etc.) because of the fear of their reaction. I can guarantee that many of the men in this policy making procedure knows a woman who they care about that has dealt with this and you will never know about it because of their fear of your reaction. What a sad, sad thing!
 
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. DOES THIS NOT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU? Please, consider the women in America, who are supposed to be equals, who are supposed to have as many and equal freedoms and rights as our male counterparts, and trust that, although we are women (much frustrated sarcasm here) we actually do have the ability to make informed decisions and the best decisions for ourselves regarding our health care and reproductive options and health care. Don't diminish our knowledge, our intelligence, our ability to make informed decisions that are best for us regarding this situation.
 
Again, I want to stress the health freedoms that men have, even through insurance, such as libido stimulating drugs, the option that if a woman does get pregnant by him, to bail, providing no father figure to the child and only (if actually held to it) financial help. Can you honestly say that this is fair, yet it's not fair to provide women affordable health care that allows us reproductive freedom? One more thing to consider, so many young ladies, in high school, college, or sometimes nowadays even in middle school, may either have horrible relationships with their parents, or, even in the higher income and SES category (such as those daughters of politicians even) may have WONDERFUL relationships with their parents. If they happen to be denied access to birth control or abortion and they just so happen to get pregnant (as much as any father would want to deny that this would NEVER BE THEIR daughter, yet, unfortunately so, more than often times it is), for them to be denied these rights and possibly get pregnant and decide abortion is best for them, guess what....they won't have access to safe procedures. They will be going to back alley places and, if you consider it a life dying as the baby, then you will now have two lives dying...the "baby" if you see it that way, AND THIS SPECIAL FEMALE in your life. Why? Because she was too ashamed or maybe felt she would be admonished, unsupported, reprimanded, etc, to come to her parents about the situation for help. This happens WAY MORE than you can fathom. So, for you men who are considering these new regulations, and have daughters, this is a possible future for your daughter, whether you want to admit it, or pretend it could never happen, bottom line, IT IS POSSIBLE, and many times PROBABLE.
 
So, 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. It is my hope that you will remember that we, as women, are equals in this country and our bodies and access to health care regarding reproduction or anything, should be no different than it is for men, and we should be respected enough, and thought highly enough of to be looked at as equals and make our own decisions, while being offered affordable health care, and not have these new regulations be put into effect.
 
I hope you took the time to read this, to actually sit back and ponder some of the scenarios presented, truly, think about them; and will reconsider these new regulations. After all, are we not equal to you, and do we not deserve the freedoms, rights, and freedom to choose and also be provided with affordable health care in this GREAT COUNTRY, we call the USofA?
 
Thank you for your consideration,
 
H.H