From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. Also note, I’ve been talking to leaders in Fairfax City and hope to have some more commentary on all this later today or tomorrow…
NOVA WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE CLOSES DOORS
Largest abortion provider in Commonwealth faced multiple barriers to providing safe, legal reproductive health care
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, released the following statement on the recently-announced closure of NOVA Women’s Healthcare, the largest abortion provider in the Commonwealth:
“I was deeply saddened to learn that NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax City has been forced to close its doors. NOVA Women’s Healthcare has provided safe, exemplary medical care in Northern Virginia for over 10 years, and was one of the largest women’s health centers in the Commonwealth. Its closure affects thousands of Virginia women and families, and leaves its many patients without their trusted healthcare provider.”
This announcement comes less than a month after new statewide regulations on abortion providers went into effect in Virginia, and six days after the Fairfax City Council mandated women’s health centers undergo an extensive and subjective zoning application process – despite allowing other doctors’ and dentists offices to remain zoned by-right. The City Council took up this measure after NOVA Women’s Healthcare submitted an application to move to Main St. in May. The clinic’s request was eventually denied on the grounds that its perspective building had one parking space below the minimum required.
“The fact that a single parking space helped dictate the ability of this clinic to continue providing safe and legal care is a testament to the many intricate and intersecting barriers that Virginia’s women’s health centers face every single day,” Keene continued. “New and politically-motivated regulations on abortion providers, which went into effect last month, only added to this burden. And had NOVA been able to comply with the cost and hurdles of TRAP, Fairfax City’s new zoning ordinance would have served as yet another obstacle to this center’s ability to continue serving its patients.
It just goes to show that while these regulations and barriers may seem manageable when viewed separately, they are part of a larger anti-choice strategy to shutter clinics and restrict women’s healthcare. We are devastated by today’s news.”
“Virginia’s women’s health centers provide comprehensive reproductive care to thousands of women across the Commonwealth,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA. “The closure of NOVA Women’s Healthcare is devastating not only to their patients, but also to Virginians who are devoted to ensuring women have access to affordable care, medically accurate information, and safe and legal abortion care. NOVA’s closure underlines how politicians across Virginia, at the state and local level, have shut down access to health care services. We remain devoted to ensuring every Virginian has access to safe and affordable health care services.”
NOVA Women’s Healthcare is the second abortion provider to close in Virginia since TRAP regulations went into effect in April. A majority of the Commonwealth’s remaining 18 abortion providers could close as early as 2014.