Pro-choice and pro-life advocates face off on Virginia abortion clinic regulations

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to have facilities that match walk-in surgical centers. The court ruled that the regulations were medically unnecessary, and unconstitutionally limited a woman’s right to an abortion.

“That is a very clear standard that raises very significant questions about Virginia’s existing statutes and regulations,” Anna Scholl with Progress Virginia told 8News Reporter Mark Tenia.

On Wednesday, protesters delivered 5,500 public comments to the state’s health commissioner asking the board of health to amend current regulations on Virginia’s abortion clinics requiring hospital-like standards.

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“Those renovations are not medically necessary, they’re designed to shut down providers and end access to safe and legal abortion,” Scholl said.

Scholl says like Texas, many clinics have had to shut down since the regulations were put into place.

“In 2011 there were 21 first trimester abortion clinics in the commonwealth and today there are 14,” Scholl said.

“We’re disappointed that the court could get this so wrong,” said Victoria Cobb with The Family Foundation.

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Victoria Cobb.

Cobb is fighting to keep the regulations in place.

“Yes you actually have to have sterilized equipment, yes you actually should not have blood on your equipment or on the tables, this is what they were designed to do and they’re doing that,” Cobb said.

Cobb says regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, she believes Virginia’s regulations are not in danger.

“Regardless of where one stands in the abortion questions we need to make sure women are in the environment where they can have a safe procedure,” said Cobb.

There is a public comment period until July 1st in regards to proposed amendments to those abortion clinic regulations. The board of health will meet on September 15th to vote on those amendments.

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