I just received the following from Planned Parenthood of Virginia:
Yesterday afternoon, we learned that Governor Bob McDonnell signed the so-called emergency abortion regulations (TRAP regulations) that had been sitting on his desk for weeks. We are outraged that Governor McDonnell has used public health regulations to play partisan politics in an attempt to limit or eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in Virginia.
These regulations target health centers that provide a wide range of reproductive health care services, including family planning, cancer screening and treatment, prenatal care, and more. These regulations do not increase patient safety and health-rather, they severely restrict access to the health care Virginians need.
The regulations go beyond the legal requirements, putting Virginia at risk for ongoing legal battles as women's health organizations fight to protect women's health and safety. No state has ever passed, and no court has ever upheld, such burdensome regulations.
Now that the Governor has signed these so-called emergency regulations, we along with our coalition partners, will look ahead to the permanent regulatory process. This process will offer opportunity for expert and public input and comment. The coalition will review the regulations and determine the most appropriate strategy to protect women's health and rights in light of this grave overstep by the Virginia legislature, attorney general, and governor.
TAKE ACTION: Contact Governor McDonnell's office to express your outrage. You can either use his webform or call his office at 804.786.2211.
Suggested talking points:
-I am shocked by the degree to which this administration has chosen to ignore medical evidence and expertise in favor of a politicized agenda.
The current regulations have little to do with practicing medicineand everything to do with playing politics with women's health and rights. Doctors already practice in safe offices and health centers. We are already regulated and meet top medical standards.
-These regulations require health centers to make onerous and unnecessary architectural changes that create more financial and logistical challenges for patients. In these difficult economic times, we should be doing more to help women and families access health care services.
-I had hoped Governor McDonnell would put patient interests before politics and reject these burdensome and unnecessary regulations. This is harmful to women and shameful politics.
After hours of emotional debate, the Virginia Board of Health overwhelmingly approved far-reaching regulations for abortion clinics Thursday that some operators say could shut down many of the state's 22 facilities.Also, remember who's lurking in the background of all this. As Del. Charniele Herring pointed out, this is largely the handiwork of
The very specific regulations, some of the toughest in the nation, include mandates on the size of exam rooms, the width of hallways and the number of parking spaces, as well as requirements for inspections, medical procedures and record-keeping.
P.S. Just to reiterate the obvious: these regulations have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with protecting women's health. Evidence for this assertion? Put it this way, have you heard of an epidemic of health-related problems at Virginia abortion clinics in recent years? No, of course not, because there hasn't been any such thing. It's all politics, combined with right-wing theocratic ideology and misogyny (e.g., control of women's bodies).
P.P.S. See the excellent Huffington Post article for more background.
NARAL PRO-CHOICE VIRGINIA PAC ANNOUNCES ENDORSEMENTS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA PRIMARIES
Endorsements highlight organization's dedication to preserving women's health advocates in the Virginia General Assembly
(Alexandria, Va) - Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, announced that her organization's political action committee proudly endorsed another group of outstanding pro-choice candidates in Northern Virginia primaries.
Keene said the candidates were part of her organization's plan to protect and elect pro-choice leaders in the state's General Assembly this fall. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and its PAC will marshal its resources to protect pro-choice allies in Richmond, while electing even more pro-choice candidates to the House of Delegates and state Senate. In 2009, 58 percent of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia-backed candidates won their races.
In the race for House District 49, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC issued a joint endorsement for pro-choice candidates Stephanie Clifford and Alfonso Lopez.
In Senate District 31, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC issued a joint endorsement for pro-choice candidates Jaime Areizaga-Soto and Barbara Favola.