Home Social Issues Planned Parenthood VA PAC Statement on Passage of TRAP

Planned Parenthood VA PAC Statement on Passage of TRAP


From Planned Parenthood of Virginia:

Today, the Virginia Board of Health voted to approve the targeted restriction of abortion providers. Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC, issued the following statement in response:

“The sole purpose of these types of restrictions is to make abortion inaccessible to women by imposing unnecessary and sometimes impossible-to-meet restrictions on health centers.  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has said these restrictions are designed to “make abortion disappear in America.”

These restrictions are part of a coordinated strategy by gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, the endorsed candidate of extremist groups, and his allies to end safe and legal abortion in Virginia.  

The consequences are dangerous for women’s health.  By shutting down health centers that provide a range of services to women, these restrictions will make it harder for Virginia women to get affordable birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.  

Ken Cuccinelli and his extreme allies won’t stop unless we stop them.  As a leading advocate for Planned Parenthood health centers in Virginia, Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC is leading the charge to keep Ken out of the governor’s mansion. Because Virginia can’t risk Ken Cuccinelli.”

  • Board of Health puts politics before medicine, approves Cuccinelli’s outrageous women’s health restrictions

    Richmond, VA – The Virginia Board of Health today gave final approval to restrictions that single out first trimester abortions providers in an attempt to limit women’s access to comprehensive reproductive care. The restrictions are strongly supported by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who threatened and bullied the Board to ensure they approved his preferred version.

    ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl released the following statement: “It’s outrageous the Board of Health has chosen to ignore both the advice of medical professionals and the comments of Virginians, who overwhelmingly oppose these burdensome and unnecessary regulations. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli successfully bullied the Board into approving these restrictions as part of his career-long crusade against women’s health. Unfortunately, it’s the women of Virginia who will suffer from this back-door abortion ban and limits on access to reproductive care.”

  • Chopra speaks out on the Virginia Board of Health’s approval of new regulations targeting women’s health clinics

    Arlington, VA – Today, the Virginia Board of Health voted to approve new regulations targeting health clinics that provide abortion services, despite a clear failure to fully evaluate alternatives as required by law. These regulations, which are burdensome and unnecessary, do nothing to protect women and do everything to limit access to reproductive care.

    Aneesh Chopra, candidate for Virginia Lt. Governor, released the following statement regarding the Board’s decision:

    “I am disappointed, but not surprised, by this latest attempt to limit a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. Instead of listening to the vast majority of Virginians, the Board of Health instead bowed to pressure from out-of-touch politicians like Ken Cuccinelli.

    “Along with thousands of other Virginians, I submitted a public comment against these new regulations. More than 80% of the public comments submitted were in opposition to these regulations. The message is clear: the people of Virginia want their leaders to stop attacking women’s rights.

    “Today is a stark reminder of what’s at stake in this year’s elections. As Lt. Governor, I will fight every day to respect and empower women and protect their right to make their own healthcare decisions.”


    Vote marks final step in two-year targeted regulatory process; decision could force majority of Virginia’s first-trimester abortion providers to close

    The Virginia Board of Health defied the recommendations of legal and medical experts – and the protest of thousands of Virginians – in voting 11-2 today to subject existing women’s health centers that provide abortion care to medically-unnecessary building requirements. These targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP) require Virginia’s first-trimester abortion providers to come into compliance with architectural standards written for newly-constructed hospitals – standards not required of any other outpatient facility or existing hospital in the commonwealth. As approved by the Board of Health, these unprecedented regulations will likely force the majority of first-trimester abortion providers in Virginia to close due to the expense and difficulty required to reconstruct existing facilities.

    “We’re extremely disappointed that 11 Board of Health members voted to put a narrow anti-choice agenda before medical and legal expertise, public health needs, and evidence-based regulation,” said Caroline O’Shea, deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

    “Over the past two years, it’s been abundantly clear that Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and their anti-choice allies were intent on manipulating the regulatory process to achieve their ultimate goal of restricting Virginians’ access to safe, legal abortion care. What we saw today was the Board of Health succumbing to political pressure and back-room bullying from Virginia’s extreme governor and attorney general.”

    The regulations passed today have been met with overwhelming opposition from public health experts, doctors, lawyers, and the people of Virginia. Almost 200 Virginia doctors have publically denounced the regulations over the past year, including Dr. James “Jef” Ferguson of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, former state health commissioner Dr. Karen Remley, and an additional six Virginia state health officials who represent over 30 years of public health leadership in the commonwealth. Of nearly 6,000 comments submitted to the Department of Health during the recent public comment period, an overwhelming majority (81%) opposed the proposed new regulations.

    O’Shea continued, “Medical experts and the people of Virginia have clearly rejected these regulations. Health regulations should be written to address demonstrated public health needs, not to further politicians’ ideological crusades and block Virginians from accessing health care services they choose.

    “Now because of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli, Virginia is one step closer to losing many women’s health centers that have exemplary records of providing safe first-trimester abortion and reproductive health care, some of them for decades.  That means thousands of Virginia women, particularly low-income women, will lose affordable access not only to abortion care but to the comprehensive services like family planning and well-women care that these centers provide.

    “I don’t think anyone buys that politicians like McDonnell and Cuccinelli, who are so open about their desire to criminalize abortion altogether, were ever pushing for these medically-unnecessary regulations out of concern for Virginia women who choose to have an abortion. This is a blatant attempt to impose a back-door ban on safe, legal abortion care. We’re seeing McDonnell and Cuccinelli’s extreme agenda on women’s rights and health in action yet again, and we will make sure that pro-choice Virginia voters remember it this fall.”

    The regulations will now be up for a final 30-day public comment period after which Governor McDonnell is expected to sign them. Virginia’s 20 first-trimester abortion providers will have little over a year to comply with burdensome architectural standards or be forced to close their doors to women seeking abortion care.

  • From State Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), who I must say has pleasantly surprised me with the job she’s done so far. In this case, I’m VERY happy to be proved wrong!

    Today, the Board of Health has succumbed to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s bulling tactics. The BOH is recommending that the final TRAP regulations apply to all existing and new health centers. These regulations mandate that Women’s Health Centers meet the physical requirements of a hospital. There is no data to suggest that the width of a hallway affects the quality of care offered at a health center. However, Centers will not be able to afford the cost of renovating their buildings to meet these requirements, so most are likely to close, thereby, leaving many women without access to basic health care. No other free-standing surgical centers in the state must meet these requirements.

    This is really about denying women access to safe and affordable abortions, a right that was guaranteed by Roe v Wade some 40 years ago. Virginia women will once again be seeking back alley procedures that could physically harm them for a lifetime. If we care about lowering abortion rates then women need access to the entire range of reproductive health services offered by these centers. I am very disappointed, but not surprised, by this recent decision.

  • Ralph Northam’s Statement on Virginia Board of Health’s vote on TRAP regulations

    “The McDonnell/Cuccinelli TRAP regulations are another covert attempt by the Republicans to put politicians between a woman and her doctor.  By forcing women’s health clinics to maintain medically irrelevant building standards, these TRAP regulations can shut down clinics that also perform cancer screenings and other primary care services.  I am disappointed in the Board of Health’s vote to implement the TRAP regulations that will severally limit women’s access to reproductive health care and primary care.  As Lieutenant Governor, I will lead the fight to overturn these anti-choice TRAP laws,” said Ralph Northam


    Leesburg – Democratic candidate for Attorney General State Senator Mark Herring (Loudoun and Fairfax) released the following statement following the Virginia Board of Health’s vote to approve the so-called “TRAP” regulations:

    “Ken Cuccinelli has put his right wing ideology ahead of women’s health. He has defied the expertise of medical professionals  in order to punish women for wanting to make their own healthcare choices. Ken Cuccinelli and the Board of Health’s action will reduce access to women’s healthcare and make it more expensive,” Herring said. “It is shameful that Cuccinelli was successful in bullying the Board of Health into adopting these onerous and medically unnecessary regulations.”

    “This entire episode is a clear example of why Virginia needs fundamental change in the office of Attorney General,” Herring added.