|Action||Amend the Regulation after Assessment and Receipt of Public Comment|
|Comment Period||Ends 10/31/2018|
TRAP laws are burdensome on low-income Virginians, unconstitutional, and must be removed
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Re: Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities [12 VAC 5 - 412] to amend the regulation after assessment and receipt of public comment
The DC Abortion Fund (DCAF) is committed to removing the barriers that impede access to abortion care by providing grants to pregnant individuals seeking abortion care in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. DCAF believes that abortion is healthcare, and that healthcare should be safe and accessible to all.
Targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws, such as mandatory waiting periods and onerous licensing requirements, serve only to unnecessarily regulate abortion providers despite the widely accepted evidence that surgical abortion is one of the safest medical procedures. Not only are TRAP laws medically unnecessary, but the Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt determined that they pose an undue burden on a woman’s right to access abortion and are therefore unconstitutional. TRAP laws are disproportionately burdensome on low-income Virginians, and further restrict their access to reproductive healthcare services.
During its review of Virginia’s Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities (12VAC 5-412), the Virginia Board of Health should rely solely on medically and legally accurate information from physicians, legal experts, and healthcare providers to evaluate the efficacy and necessity of current regulations. DCAF is confident that upon review, the Virginia Board of Health will once again conclude, as it did in 2016, that these regulations do not seek to improve public health but rather to restrict Virginians’ access to clinics that provide vital reproductive healthcare services including abortion. It is time for the Virginia Board of Health to roll back the politically motivated attacks on abortion access by promulgating rules that are consistent with medical evidence and legal precedent to protect abortion access in Virginia.
Jennifer Wang, Policy Director
DC Abortion Fund