Richmond, VA – ProgressVA today strongly condemned the decision by the Virginia Board of Health to prioritize politics over evidence-based medicine and bow to bullying from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli by removing the “grandfather clause” from proposed clinic regulations. Even though hundreds of citizens told the Board they wished to attend the meeting and the ACLU of Virginia requested the Board accommodate all those who wished to submit public comment and witness the debate, the Board limited attendance in the meeting to 100 and cut public comment to only 1 hour. In response, ProgressVA and the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health held a public hearing in the parking lot for those who were shut out to make their voices heard.
“We absolutely condemn this outrageous decision by the Board of Health to prioritize politician’s political agendas over evidence-based medicine and women’s health,” said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. “This Board should be ashamed that they have ignored and shut out the voices of Virginians and the advice of countless medical and legal professionals. It is simply disgraceful that the Board would bow to right-wing bullying and shut down women’s access to comprehensive reproductive care and safe and legal abortion in order to cater to a politician who has proven time and again that he will twist the law to suit his own agenda.”
Since the Board’s initial vote to approve the grandfather amendment, Governor McDonnell successfully attempted to stack the Board with anti-choice ideologues, appointing right-wing zealot Dr. John Seeds. ProgressVA, together with the Coalition to Protect Women’s Health, yesterday delivered 17,342 petitions to the Board of Health, requesting they stand up to Cuccinelli’s bullying tactics and preserve women’s health access.