Governor Bob McDonnell has long tried to hide his out-of-touch conservative streak. However, shortly before the New Year, Virginia’s Governor showed his true colors and approved the nation’s most restrictive regulations on first-trimester abortion providers here in Virginia.
On December 29th, Gov. McDonnell approved a new set of regulations that single out first-trimester abortion providers in the effort to shut them down. The regulations effectively require women’s health centers that provide first-trimester abortion services to be singled out from other doctor’s offices and be treated like hospitals.
Sounds innocuous on the surface, right? Well, that’s what McDonnell and his allies in the Virginia General Assembly want you to think. In fact, a first-trimester abortion is actually safer than colonoscopies, oral surgery and laser eye surgery. First trimester abortion has less than half of one percent complication rate! Yet, unsurprisingly, doctors’ offices that provide those services have not been targeted by Gov. McDonnell.
The reason is obvious. This was a political move, clearly made to appeal to the far right. Only a small percentage of Virginians want to restrict a woman’s right to choose – and that small, fringe percentage has McDonnell’s ear. Unfortunately, all Virginia women may find themselves with no reproductive healthcare choices in this new political climate.
During the 2009 race for governor between Senator Creigh Deeds and then Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Sen. Deeds tried to tell us that McDonnell was too much of a radical conservative to effectively serve as Virginia’s chief executive officer. Unfortunately, that message is now being heard loud and clear. It’s just two years too late.