Opinion

In Virginia, elections have consequences as safety standards for abortion centers gutted

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The Virginia Health Department has voted to make it easier for abortion businesses to remain open, even if they cannot meet basic health standards outlined in a previous law.

This is certainly devastating news, and not just to pro-lifers in the Commonwealth, or the unborn babies they’re trying to protect. It will also make for more dangerous conditions for women seeking an abortion in Virginia.

As tragic as such ramifications from the vote may be, the results are hardly surprising. That’s because this was a pet project of pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe, back when he was pro-abortion gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

NRLC explains the situation further in a recent piece:

To make an incredibly complicated story relatively straightforward, the specifics of implementing (formulating the rules) for the 2011 law passed by the legislature were left to the state Board of Health. Pro-abortionists successful prevented the rules from taking effect until McAuliffe was elected.

He has been systematically paving the way to gut the rules ever since. In May McAuliffe called for an expedited review of the rules. He wasn’t kidding.

On Thursday, McAuliffe’s allies on the newly-constituted Board of Health (he has already replaced six of the 15 members of the board with appointees more to his liking) decided to move ahead with a review of rules for abortion clinics, which prompted McAuliffe to “praise the board for advancing the process,” according to Jenna Portnoy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The board’s actions, agreed to on an overwhelming 13-2 vote, are “the latest step in a lengthy process that could roll back controversial, hospital hospital-style regulations of providers that went into effect last year.”

In the short term, the most important consideration is that of the state’s 18 abortion clinics, 12 of the 13 who sought temporary waivers from the current rules were granted their requests. (One request is still under administrative review.) Five clinics “have said they can comply with the new standards as written,” Portnoy reported.

Even though McAuliffe wants the rules hollowed out in a hurry, in theory the process could take up to two years. But given that the new Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine, a McAuliffe appointee, is already busy handing out waivers, there is no reason to doubt she will continue to do so while the Health Department staff rolls up its sleeves and rewrites the regulations.

Naturally, the pro-abortion lobby is thrilled. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia tweeted about the vote on December 4, thanking the Board of Health. Included was the hashtag #SCRAPTRAP. Abortion advocates are terrified of so-called TRAP laws, but they are also in denial as to where the danger really lies. This is especially the case when such advocates are also abortion providers, as Planned Parenthood is.

That’s because to abortion providers, it’s not so much about the health and safety of the women undergoing the abortion as it is about protecting abortion itself. How could it be argued any other way when we hear of all the horrid abuses and violations committed by several abortion businesses in Virginia?

Under a previous legislature, it appeared as if real efforts were being made to protect unborn children and their mothers. But after the election of Terry McAuliffe, who was backed by the abortion lobby from the start, such efforts may end up undone, making Virginia an even more dangerous place. It’s never fun to say we told you so, but such news is not a shock. Elections have consequences.

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