Home Social Issues VA Health Commissioner Resigns in Protest Over GOP’s Draconian Abortion Clinic Rules

VA Health Commissioner Resigns in Protest Over GOP’s Draconian Abortion Clinic Rules


I wish we’d see a lot more courageous actions like this one, by Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Karen Remley, over how draconinan new abortion clinic regulations by Gov. “Transvaginal Bob” and AG Ken “Kookinelli” have “created an environment in which my ability to fulfill my duties is compromised and in good faith I can no longer serve in my role.”

Here’s Tim Kaine’s statement:

In 2008, I was seeking an energetic, dedicated and creative physician to serve as Virginia’s Health Commissioner and I found an ideal candidate in Dr. Karen Remley. Her career in health care as a pediatrician, hospital administrator, and active member of the non-profit community made her uniquely qualified to serve. Karen was key in implementing some of my top public health priorities including a significant reduction in Virginia’s infant mortality rate and the creation and implementation of a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. It’s unfortunate that a political focus on limiting women’s access to health care has prompted her resignation after many years of diligent and faithful service to the Commonwealth, but I know Karen has many years of service still ahead of her.

  • Virginia Health Commissioner resigns after months of political bullying in abortion regulatory fight

    Dr. Karen Remley cites an environment in which ability to fulfill her duties was compromised

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                   OCTOBER 18, 2012

    Today, Dr. Karen Remley, M.D resigned from her role as the Virginia State Health Commissioner after citing an untenable environment created by the regulatory process of the state’s first trimester abortion providers. Just last month, Attorney General Cuccinelli and other members of the McDonnell administration bullied the Virginia Board of Health, of which Remely oversees, into adopting medically-unnecessary regulations on Virginia’s abortion providers.

    In an email to colleagues, Dr. Remley stated that the regulatory fight had prevented her from fulfilling her intended duties as Health Commissioner. “Unfortunately, how specific sections of the Virginia Code pertaining to the development and enforcement of these regulations have been and continue to be interpreted has created an environment in which my ability to fulfill my duties is compromised and I can no longer in good faith continue in my role.”

    Dr. Remley’s resignation comes more than a month after the Board of Health passed these regulations in an about-face move from its June vote to grandfather in existing facilities from the construction requirements. After the June meeting, the Attorney General sent the board a memo threatening not to represent them should their vote invoke a lawsuit against them – the latest in a series of actions designed to interject an anti-abortion ideology into what should be a scientific and evidenced-based medical regulatory process.

    “Dr. Karen Remley dedicated herself to protecting the health of Virginians, with a particular focus on maternal and child health,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.  “It is a testament of her commitment to the health of Virginian women and children that she would rather step down than enact a law that has nothing to do with protecting women’s health and everything to do with limiting access to critical medical care.”

    “It just goes to show what happens when anti-abortion elected officials are allowed to put political ideology before public health and Virginia law,” Keene continued. “Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell should be ashamed of the toxic political environment they have created since taking office. We bid Dr. Remely well and thank her for invaluable service. Meanwhile, our fight to protect Virginia women’s health and rights continues.”  

  • … for Karen Remley. She served as a great health commissioner and oversaw a terrific public relations overhaul in the VDH system.

    That being said, I wish that you could publish an article that doesn’t resort to name-calling. It would garner you much more respect.