Using the Board of Health to limit access to health care?

It makes no sense that a regulatory body designed to protect and promote access to health services is being asked to limit those services.  But that is just what some anti-choice zealots with a one-track mind are trying to do.

For the past eight years, the Virginia legislature has rejected bills calling for ever more stringent regulations on abortion providers. Now Delegate Bob Marshall and the attorney general are trying to usurp Virginians’ right to be represented in the lawmaking process. Delegate Marshall has asked the governor to push for new regulations (hinting McDonnell should fire any Board member who disagrees) while publicly spreading outright lies about current regulations. First-trimester abortion has an excellent safety record, and there is no evidence that further regulation is necessary.  He’s trying scare tactics, but they won’t work if you help us get the word out!

Marshall wants doctors’ offices to be treated as hospitals, forcing them to meet stricter regulations than they can afford. Regulations that have nothing to do with health and safety, and everything to do with ending access to abortion. If he and Cuccinelli succeed, doctors’ offices will close, making health care more difficult to obtain. We will lose access to safe, high quality, affordable reproductive care, as well as jobs across the state. In this economic climate, we cannot afford these losses.

We are continuing to put pressure on the governor not to ask the Board of Health to push regulations with so many negative effects for Virginia. So far, his office has been quiet, but we know that anti-choice fanatics like Delegate Marshall are pressuring him to end access to safe abortion in the state. If you can, please send an email to the governor’s office telling him this push for regulation is not about protecting women’s health- it’s about shutting off women’s access to safe, legal abortion! (Read our Executive Director, Tarina Keene’s, letter to Governor McDonnell.)

Keep checking in, and we’ll keep you updated on all the ways you can get involved and protect all Virginians’ access to health care.

P.S.  Mark your calendar! The next Board of Health meeting is on Friday, October 15th at 9 a.m. in Richmond. We will be there to oppose the proposal of new regulations and we need your help!  Sign up to join us and we will send more details in the coming weeks.

[Thanks to our intern Brett for her work on this post.]

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