Yesterday the House of Delegates in Virginia passed SB 924. This bill would require the Board of Health to issue regulations for hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities. As originally written, the bill has nothing to do with abortion. Unfortunately, anti-choice Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Campbell County) offered an amendment changing the definition of hospitals to include “facilities in which five or more first trimester abortions per month are performed.” Disappointingly, the House passed the bill as amended 67-32. Now the bill goes back before the full Senate and we must ask them to oppose this egregious affront on women’s safety!
This bill would place expensive, unnecessary and unwarranted new restrictions and costs on first-trimester abortion providers. Currently first-trimester abortion offices are classified as outpatient facilities, similar to dentist offices and cosmetic-surgery centers. Classifying abortion offices as “hospitals” could potentially cause the majority to shut their doors and cease providing quality, necessary abortion care!
This bill is just another sneaky way to restrict abortion in Virginia with no regard to the health and safety of Virginia women. As we have discussed before, first-trimester abortion providers in Virginia already adhere to regulations from the Board of Health Professions, the Board of Medicine and other licensing bodies and regulations. First-trimester abortion remains one of the safest procedures a woman can undergo, similar to or safer than comparable office-based procedures such as colonoscopy or cosmetic surgery.
So far during the session, the Senate has wisely defeated several anti-choice measures that would further restrict or eliminate access to safe, legal abortion. So let’s see this bill for what it is: a last-ditch political attempt to eliminate access to safe, legal abortions for Virginia women.
We must not let this last-minute effort pass. If it does, it could have incredibly serious consequences for the reproductive health and rights of Virginia women!
Please, contact your senator immediately and ask them to oppose SB 924!
To find out who your senator is click here.
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