Home GLBT EW Jackson, “Virginia Christian Alliance” Attack Transgender Health Commissioner

EW Jackson, “Virginia Christian Alliance” Attack Transgender Health Commissioner

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With the Virginia Board of Health meeting this morning to reconsider the draconian, unfair women’s health clinic regulations put in place due to then-AG Ken Cuccinelli’s bullying, it appears that the anti-LGBTQ bigots are out in force. That would be EW Jackson, who doesn’t understand why he’s called hateful for his anti-LGBTQ ravings, believes supporting a woman’s right to control her own body makes one a “pro-abortion radical,” and can’t even spell “McAuliffe” correctly. It’s also something called the “Virginia Christian Alliance,” which falsely (and appallingly) claims that transgendered people like Virginia Department of Health Interim Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine have a “serious mental illness.” And while I certainly do NOT believe (as Erin Matson tweets; see the “flip” of this post) that most (or even many?) people working against abortion are “driven by gender-motivated hate,” clearly some (like the “Virginia Christian Alliance” and EW Jackson) hold those views. And just as clearly, I hope we all can agree that type of intolerance and bigotry should be unacceptable in our society, whatever one’s views about abortion rights.



  • Richmond, VA – ProgressVA today enthusiastically applauded the decision by the Virginia Board of Health to approve a Notice of Intent for Regulatory Action that will kick off the process of amending women’s health center regulations. The Board approved the NOIRA after receiving over 10,000 public comments in support of amending the restrictions to ensure they reflect medical best practices, not partisan political considerations.

    “We’re thrilled the Board of Health recognized that the current restrictions are based on politics, not medicine,” said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. “We all share a commitment to patient health and safety and we look forward to amendments to these regulations that protect access to affordable, quality preventative care services as well as safe and legal abortion.”

    Approval of the NOIRA kicks off a new regulatory process that could stretch as long as two years. The NOIRA will now head to the executive branch for review and authorization, to be followed by additional public comment opportunities.

    ProgressVA has long opposed the Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers. The current restrictions single out providers of first-trimester abortion for a level of regulation not applied to any other outpatient facility. Former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli hijacked the original regulatory process and inserted his personal, radical political agenda to ensure restrictive rules designed to shut down women’s health centers.

    “The restrictions as currently written actually make women less safe,” continued Scholl. “Political restrictions designed to shut down women’s health centers limits Virginia women’s access to affordable, quality preventative care services. We should be expanding access to affordable care, not shutting it down.”

  • RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today after the Virginia Board of Health voted to adopt a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action to review regulations on Virginia women’s health clinics:

    “I would like to commend the Board of Health for adopting the Notice of Intended Regulatory Action, which will begin the review process of the 2013 regulations on women’s health clinics across Virginia. These clinics provide essential preventive care and cancer screenings to many women and families and unfortunately were facing closure due to onerous regulations that were the result of politics being inserted into the regulatory process.

    “In May, I asked my Commissioner of Health, Dr. Marissa Levine, to evaluate the 2013 regulations with the primary goals of ensuring that all Virginians have access to the quality healthcare they need and deserve and protecting women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions.

    Dr. Levine in October informed me that the existing regulations should in fact be amended to be aligned more accurately with medical practices, and today the Board of Health agreed with her recommendation. I am encouraged that the Board of Health has adopted this action and that the health and welfare of all Virginians will continue to be the Commonwealth’s top concern.”

  • 13-2 vote a “crucial step” towards keeping Virginia’s 18 women’s health centers open and accessible

    Richmond, VA – This morning, the Virginia Board of Health voted to move forward with amendments to controversial and medically-inappropriate restrictions on Virginia women’s health centers. The highly-anticipated 13-2 vote signified the Board’s official approval of a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action to amend the restrictions, and opens the door for specific amendment language to be drafted and voted upon at a later date.

    Hundreds of women’s health activists lined up outside the meeting as early as 6:00am to urge the Board of Health to amend the restrictions, and Board members heard from dozens of medical professionals, legal experts and impacted women who voiced support for regulations based in medicine, not politics. Their voices joined the more than 10,000 comments submitted this summer to the Virginia Department of Health in support of amending the regulations, about 80% of the total number of comments received.

    “We are absolutely thrilled with the Board’s vote to move forward with amendments to medically-inappropriate restrictions on women’s health centers,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and co-chair of the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health.  “The Board’s decision today is a first, crucial step towards ensuring that these politically-motivated restrictions are revised, and that our safe, trusted women’s health care centers can remain open and accessible for Virginia’s women and families.”

    “While we are all committed to ensuring patient health and safety, these regulations do not do that,” Keene continued. “That’s why hundreds of medical experts – including Dr. Karen Remley, the former Virginia Health Commissioner, and the Virginia Chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – oppose these restrictions. We have to ask ourselves, who is most competent to set standards for women’s health care centers — medical experts who are on the frontlines of patient care every day, or politicians that are determined to cut off access to safe, legal abortion?”

    “I am proud of the Board of Health today for listening to the advice of Virginia’s medical professionals and voting to move forward with amendments to these dangerous and medically unnecessary restrictions.  This is a truly important first step towards ensuring that safe, trusted women’s health centers can remain open and continue serving their patients with the critical medical care they need.”

  • scott_r

    …is that it’s kind of awesome that many of us would never have had any idea she was transgender, since it really isn’t germane to her qualifications or performance.  

    The vote is fantastic news.  I hope we’ve seen the high-water mark for restrictions in Virginia.