Board of Health to vote on abortion clinic regs Friday

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Opponents and supporters of proposed abortion regulations will likely pack the state Board of Health meeting Friday.

That’s when the board is set to vote on permanent regulations that would bring Virginia abortion clinics inline with standards for new hospital construction.

In June, the board of health voted to approve regulations with a very controversial amendment to grandfather twenty existing abortion clinics from having to meet costly building requirements.

It was a vote that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli refused to certify, saying it’s not in compliance with a state law regulating clinics like hospitals.

That’s something that the ACLU scoffed at and the Family Foundation supported.

“His role is to make sure that the Board of Health upholds the intent of the General Assembly and he is conveying that to the board and making sure they understand what the intent of the law is and how to follow it,” said Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb.

However, Kathy Greenier, with the ACLU of Virginia, said the AG does not have veto power over the board’s decisions.

“The refusal of the AG’s office to certify these regulations is why they’re before the board again for reconsideration,” said Greenier.

Additionally, a recent memo from Cuccinelli to the board is ruffling some feathers. In it, the attorney general warns board members that they could be denied state legal counsel and potentially be forced to pay for their own defense if they don’t follow his advice.

Member Anna Jeng, who supports grandfathering abortion clinics, told CBS 6 News she believes the memo was sent to intimidate them.

“I’m going to continue to do the right thing. We should avoid restricting health care access that women need,” explained Jeng.

RELATED:

CBS 6 News and WTVR.com will have a crew at Friday’s Board of Health meeting. Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for the latest updates on this developing story.

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