Dick Saslaw on Anti-Choice Vote: “The Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party”


    From the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus, they’re starting to sound like us here at Blue Virginia! 🙂 (I particularly like the quotes by Dick Saslaw; hey Senator, wanna be a Blue Virginia blogger?) By the way, the two “Democrats” who voted with the Teapublicans on this can go…well, listen to this for a hint.

    The Moderate Republican Senator is No More

    Tea Party Pressures Republicans to Support Anti-Abortion Agenda

    RICHMOND – Today the Virginia Senate passed a bill to classify women’s clinics performing first trimester abortions as “hospitals.”

    The bill, SB 924, also direct the Board of Health to promulgate regulations at women’s clinics offering abortion services.  Opponents of the bill, say those regulations could close the doors of 17 of the 21 women’s clinics offering these services in Virginia.

    While 20 of the 22 Democratic Senators voted to kill the bill, all of the Senate’s Republican members voted in favor of the legislation. The 20-20 tie was broken when Lt. Governor Bill Bolling voted for passage.

    Thursday afternoon Senate Republicans and Democrats debated the impact and constitutionality of the bill on the Senate floor.

    “First trimesters abortions in Virginia are safe. It’s no need for us to pretend that there is a need for this amendment. What it does is disenfranchise underprivileged young women,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple.

    This is a sad, sad day for the women of Virginia and their families. What we are doing is taking our reputation as moderate state and radicalizing it,” said Sen. Janet Howell, D-Reston

    Lots more outrage on the “flip”

    If anybody thinks this debate is about women’s health, get a life. The only physician we have in this body has said what nonsense this is,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

    He questioned why these regulations would be imposed on clinics performing more than four first trimester abortions per year, but not offices that conduct colonoscopies or Lasik eye surgeries.

    This debate is about one thing and one thing only: abortion,” said Saslaw.

    Abortion is usually a divisive issue between Virginia’s major political parties. However, the growing presence of the Tea Party movement has been felt in the State Capitol this session.

    In past years, a number of Senate Republicans voted against similar abortion legislation. Senator Fred Quayle voted to kill an abortion clinic licensure and regulation bill, HB393, in the Senate Education and Health Committee in 2010.

    The Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party and now has a death grip on Republicans. In the past, Democrats could count on a Republican or two to defeat this type of legislation.  Now, they are scared of being primaried by the Extreme Right,” said Saslaw.

    Additional Quotes

    “These amendments are draconian and patriarchal at best and they are an attempt to limit women’s right to an abortion,” said Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton.

    “There has been no state to adopt this type of legislation that would force women to have a first trimester abortion in a hospital.  This is unconstitutional under Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey because it puts an undue burden on a woman who is having a first trimester abortion.  They should not have to have this simple procedure in a hospital,” said Sen. John Edwards, D-Roanoke.

    “I cannot tell you how many people will be shut off from access because of this amendment because of privacy. You have a total lack of privacy of a hospital. I hope that we would not take away a person’s right to do in privacy what is in his or her best interest,” said Sen. Patsy Ticer, D-Alexandria.

    • pontoon

      are the Democrats who voted with the Republicans.  I hope they never want to seek statewide office.

    • notlarrysabato

      This is a fail on Saslaw’s part. 100% on him. We shouldn’t let him off the hook for this.

    • VADEM

      sure the DPVA is all over this.

    • Delegate Charniele Herring Criticizes Vote That Creates Women’s Health Risk

      Richmond, VA-The General Assembly passed SB 924 as amended which will require OB/GYN doctors to be classified as a hospital if they provide more than five first-semester abortions within one month. Arguments in favor talk about protecting women receiving medical procedures; however, the underlying menace is that this legislation causes great harm.

      Delegate Herring says, “The effect of SB 924 endangers women’s health by increasing costs and decreasing the availability of services. A clinician will have to go through the expense of remodeling an office, or find new facilities, maintaining certain staff and protocols, or even closing smaller practices due to insurance and other costs differences. SB 924 is an attack on women; you do not see us forcing dental offices which perform surgical procedures be classified as a hospital. The legislature has just passed a law to effectively restrict a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make health care decisions.”

      Creating an unfunded mandate that will potentially close businesses and non for profits across the Commonwealth, this is an attack on smaller practitioners as well as clinics attempting to provide a range of women’s health services Proponents of the measure argue that the bill is designed to ensure that abortions are safe.   According to Del. Herring, “It should clear to any reasoned and rational person that a woman’s constitutionally protected right to choose just took a step-backward. More importantly clinics and doctor’s offices across the Commonwealth just had their hands tied in cases where a mother’s life could be in danger. We have let an ideology permeate to the point where we are attacking doctors, businesses, and endangering women’s health as our legislature has decided to declare war on the small medical practitioners.”  

      Herring represents the 46th District which includes the West End of Alexandria and parts of Falls Church. She serves on the Science and Technology Committee and the Courts of Justice Committee where she holds a position as the Democratic Committee Whip. Since 2009 she has advocated for her constituents and worked to protect the most vulnerable in our society.  For more information please visit http://www.charnieleherring.com.

    • Oh joy.

      Dear Friends,  

      Today, a long, hard-fought battle for women’s health and dignity has finally been won in the State Senate!  

      Just this afternoon, the Democrat controlled Virginia State Senate passed a bill which will require abortion clinics to meet hospital-style safety standards.  This will mean that any abortion clinic which performs more than 5 abortions in a month will need to meet safety standards comparable to any other clinic which performs out-patient procedures.  

      For over 25 years, Virginia abortion clinics have not been held to minimal health and safety standards.  As a result, women who walk into these clinics are often not treated with the care and respect that any human being deserves.

      Our abortion clinics have not been held to high safety standards in the past – even issues of basic cleanliness have been lacking. As a result, women who walk into these clinics have been done a severe disservice.  

      It is interesting to note that in 1984 when the health and safety regulations were removed from Virginia abortion clinics, the Virginia Society for Human Life and notoriously liberal National Organization for Women (NOW) held their one and only joint press conference ever.  They jointly objected to the removal of health and safety standards, asserting that women in abortion clinics would not get the quality of treatment and the respect of people in other medical facilities.  And WOW what an understatement that turned out to be.    

      Obviously I am pro life.  While I regret the occurrence of abortions, I do want women in all circumstances treated with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves.  The establishment of health and safety standards for Virginia’s abortions clinics will not only help preserve the health and safety but also the dignity of women in Virginia.    

      As a state senator I tried for several years to pass this legislation – and it is great to see that today, members from both sides of the aisle – and the Lt. Governor – realized the importance of this legislation and were able to score this victory for life, and the dignity of women.  


      Ken Cuccinelli, II

      Attorney General of Virginia

    • Sunshine21

      I cannot believe that two of our Democratic State Senators voted for this bill.

      Neither should ever be allowed to serve in the state of Virginia again as they have just contributed to setting the state back even further than it’s already gone.  They have absolutely taken away a woman’s right to choose and gone along with the GOP doctrine of keeping women down and barefoot and pregnant.

      Our attorney general is a joke.  He states that he is rejoicing that this bill passed because it will protect a woman’s safety and well being?  You have got to be kidding me.  This guy is beyond belief and a disgrace to this state.  He’s spent his time in office doing whatever he can to make a name for himself and waste the taxpayer’s money while doing so.

      Next thing you know, we’ll be following some of these other states and it will be proposed that anyone working at an abortion clinic should be shot.  After all our gun laws (or lack thereof) are so pathetic that I could see about anything.  These people will stop at nothing.  What a sad sad day for the state of Virginia and the women who live here!!!