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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3/29/13  11:50 pm
Commenter: Freeda Cathcart, former member of the Virginia Advisory Board for Midwifery

The Regulations for Abortion Providers
 

Twice I have testified before this Board about your purpose to protect the health of the citizens in our Commonwealth.   Since I have had the experience of sitting on a state advisory board in the Department of Health, I understand the pressure that board members feel to protect the health and safety for Virginia's citizens. I appreciate your serving our Commonwealth.

Each of you have taken an oath to act in accordance with our Commonwealth's constitution.  Virginia has the strongest separaton of church and state in our constitution's Statute for Religious Freedom.  If you are unable to separate your religious beliefs from scientific evidence when you make decisions then you need to resign your seat on the board.

The board seemed confused at last fall's meeting by the well orchestrated hearing and the Attorney General's instructions that the board had to pass the regulations.  The Attorney General has been corrected at least twice for his interpretation of the law by Supreme Courts.  Once for demanding a scientist's work on climate change and the other for arguing that the Affordable Health Care Act was unconstitutional.  The Attorney General has a proven record of fallibility when it comes to interpreting the law and the board needs to keep that in mind when receiving instructions from the Attorney General.

It was not an increase of morbidity or mortality rates that caused the new legislation for regulations.  There is a general consensus from doctors who have testified before the board that the regulations were politically motivated based on legislators' religious beliefs.  This is in direct violation of the oath to take action only if it is in accordance with our constitution.  The board's unconstitutional action to accept the regulations last fall led Dr. Karen Remley to resign in protest from being the Director of the Board.

This board is not a rubber stamp.  You have a sacred obligation to protect the health and safety of Virginia's citizens.  Doctors have testified that these regulations will increase the morbidity and mortality rates because women will not have affordable access to all the health care needs that they might have.  The only honorable action that the board must take is to reject these regulations by sending them back to the governor. Rejecting these regulations is the only way to protect the health and safety of women in Virginia.

If your religion prevents you from being able to act according to Virginia's constitution then you have the option to abstain from voting or to resign.  The eyes of the nation are upon you.  History will judge if you acted to uphold your oath or not.