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Va. Health Department Releases Proposed Final Rules for Abortion Clinics

Va. Health Department Releases Proposed Final Rules for Abortion Clinics

June 5, 2012 — The Virginia Health Department last week released proposed permanent regulations for abortion clinics, which opponents said could force some facilities to close, the AP/WJLA reports (AP/WJLA, 6/2).

The regulations, which are part of a new law signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), mirror emergency rules already in effect. The rules include specifications such as the size of exams rooms and number of parking spaces, as well as new requirements for inspections, record-keeping and medical procedures (Washington Post, 6/2).

The permanent regulations include changes to comply with recent amendments to the state's informed consent abortion law and to ensure that clinic employees comply with child-abuse reporting requirements, according to a memo to the state Board of Health from Erik Bodin of the health department's Office of Licensure and Certification.

Abortion-rights supporters have argued that the architectural and building code requirements could mean closure for some clinics that cannot easily comply (AP/WJLA, 6/2).

The Board of Health will vote on the regulations on June 15 (Washington Post, 6/2).