Va. Abortion-Rights Advocates Lobby Against Clinic Regulations

May 14, 2012 — Abortion-rights supporters on Thursday lobbied members of the Virginia Board of Health, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), the state's attorney general and top lawmakers to repeal new regulations for abortion clinics, the Washington Times reports (Sherfinski, Washington Times, 5/10).

The regulations, part of a law McDonnell signed in January, specify the size of exam rooms, require public corridors to have a minimum width of five feet and stipulate minimum ceiling heights of seven feet 10 inches. They also create new requirements for inspections, record-keeping and medical procedures (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/24).

Temporary regulations took effect in December, and the board is scheduled to discuss proposed permanent regulations at a June 15 meeting. Board members plan to adopt permanent regulations before temporary regulations expire at the end of this year.

Joe Hilbert, director of government and regulatory affairs for the state Department of Health, said a draft version of the proposed permanent regulations is being developed and could be made public this or next month (Washington Times, 5/10).

Thursday's effort was organized by Oppose TRAP, whose strategy includes bombarding the board members and officials with phone calls, emails and personal visits (Neddenien, WTVR, 5/10).