Thursday, February 24, 2011

Virginia passes abortion clinic regulation bill

The Virginia Senate, in a 20-20 vote (where the Lt. Gov. had to play tie-breaker), passed a bill to regulate abortion clinics like hospitals.
Abortion rights advocates say it will make the state one of the most restrictive for abortions in the country and could force as many as 17 of the state's 21 abortion clinics to close.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has said he will sign the bill, which gives the state's Board of Health 280 days from the law's enactment to write new rules for clinics that perform at least five first-trimester abortions a month....

The practical impact of the vote will rest heavily on guidelines ultimately approved by the Virginia Board of Health. Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said she fears the worst, though the 15-member board is dominated by holdover appointments made by former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D).

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