Women's health advocates delivered over 17,324 petitions and comments to the Virginia Board of Health Thursday, opposing proposed regulations that could shut down women's health centers and endanger access to safe and legal abortion in the Commonwealth. Virginians from across the state have took action to express outrage over new, burdensome regulations that prioritize ideological agendas over evidence-based medicine. In July, the Board voted to amend the proposed regulations, the most repressive in the nation, to "grandfather in" existing clinics from draconian building regulations unrelated to patient safety. That amendment would allow clinics to remain open and continue to provide thousands of Virginia women life-saving cancer screenings, STD testing, family planning services, and safe, legal first trimester abortions. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is misrepresenting the law and misguiding the Board of Health in an attempt to bully them into shutting down clinics against their will. By threatening to refuse to "certify" the Board's authority, the Attorney General has forced the Board to reconsider legally sound and medically correct regulations in order to advance a political agenda.
"Political agendas have no place in the doctor's office or governing decisions that should rely solely on evidence-based medicine," said ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl. "The Board's mission statement declares they are the 'primary advocate and representative of the citizens of the Commonwealth', not agents of politicians' political agendas. Virginians have made their voices clear: base the regulations on evidence-based medicine. We hope the Board chooses to represent the will of the public and votes to uphold the grandfather amendment."