Legal challenge filed over Virginia abortion regulation changes

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Friday, The Family Foundation of Virginia announced an administrative appeal has been filed challenging changes to abortion regulations in the state.

The conservative group says Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration violated state law more than 20 times.

In March, The Family Foundation revealed it would be backing the suit. The appeal is now in Henrico County circuit court.

President Victoria Cobb says the appeal is not about the substance of the changes that were made but rather the process.

To view the full appeal, click HERE.

“This administration chose to simply ignore the law in its desperate attempt to pay back the abortion industry,” she said.

The suit alleges the board violated the Administrative Process Act which oversees the process non-elected boards must follow in order to implement regulations.

Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation of Virginia

Cobb says, in one case, the board and department initially indicate they would review and amend six areas of regulations. Instead, she says, they ended up changing more than 20 without getting public input before voting.

“This was regulating by stealth,” she said. “If allowed to stand, the McAuliffe administration has invested a new way to regulate in Virginia that essentially blocks the public and regulated entities from due process.”

We reached out to the governor’s office, who sent us the following statement:

“My administration has been and will continue to be a brick wall to protect women’s health. The regulation attacked by this lawsuit reversed rules that were aimed solely at closing health clinics and denying Virginia women access to safe and affordable care. This lawsuit is yet another attack on women and their rights.”

The Virginia Department of Health says it does not comment on pending litigation.

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