♪ Baroque-n-Chords ♪ (telemann) wrote in ontd_political,
♪ Baroque-n-Chords ♪

Virginia passes bill to regulate aborition clinics.

With the backing of two Democrats and a tie-breaking vote cast by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Republicans in the Virginia Senate today won approval of an amended health bill that would require the state's abortion clinics to be regulated like hospitals. The 20-20 vote on Senate Bill 924, which now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell, represents a significant victory for anti-abortion activists, who have been trying for years to restrict access to abortion in Virginia, only to have bills killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate Education and Health Committee. McDonnell has indicated he would sign the legislation.

Democratic lawmakers and women's rights advocates decried legislation, which was altered on the floor of the House earlier in the week through an amendment tacked onto an unrelated bill by Del. Kathy Byron, R-Campbell and came to the Senate without being debated or discussed in committee. They said it would effectively restrict a woman's access to abortion services by forcing the state's 21 clinics to meet standards set by the Board of Health regulating hospitals -- standards that include things like expanded hallways, parking lots and elevators that most clinics could not afford. Currently, first-trimester abortions are considered medical procedures that can be performed in physicians' offices, similar to medical procedures such as colonoscopies, vision correction surgery, cosmetic surgery and dental surgery. Abortions in the second trimester or later must be performed in a hospital setting.

The amended legislation would require that any medical office performing more than five first-trimester abortions per month be classified as a hospital and subject to regulations devised by the State Board of Health -- a body that is appointed by the governor. The vote followed a long and impassioned debate on the floor of the Senate, where Democrats hold a 22-18 majority. It was swung by the votes of two Democrats in moderately conservative districts -- Sen. Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell, and Sen. Charles J. Colgan D-Prince William, a devout Catholic and longtime opponent of abortion. Neither rose to speak on the bill. The entire Senate and House of Delegates are up for election this fall.


I suppose if they can't outlaw abortion outright, limiting access is the next trick up their sleeve.
Tags: abortion, virginia

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