September 20, 2012 — "Virginia's Board of Health knuckled under to political pressure last week when it reversed a decision that would have exempted existing abortion clinics from onerous design and construction codes for new hospitals," a Virginian-Pilot editorial states. It adds that the board's decision "underscored the level of political meddling and outright doublespeak that overtakes any discussion of abortion, let alone regulation of it."
The editorial notes, "Since legislators have been unsuccessful in actually outlawing abortion directly, they have turned to indirect, technical assaults on the procedure, including making the facilities prohibitively expensive."
There is no evidence that abortion clinics are less safe than other outpatient facilities, such plastic surgery centers, or that reclassifying them as hospitals is medically necessary, the editorial continues.
Although supporters of the regulations "have insisted they were merely trying to improve patient safety," the fact that the rules do not apply to other types of outpatient facilities "made clear that their focus was on abortion alone," the editorial states (Virginian-Pilot, 9/19).