Federal judge rules that Virginia must allow non-doctors to commit first-trimester abortions
RICHMOND, Virginia, May 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge struck down a decades-old Virginia requirement Monday that only licensed physicians could commit abortions in the first trimester, dismissing concerns about increasing the medical risks to women.
The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood and a group of medical centers sued the state over the 1975 law last summer, The Virginian-Pilot reported, arguing it and other abortion regulations were burdensome and medically unnecessary.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson ruled in part against the law on the grounds that a “consensus appears to have evolved that first trimester abortions, which typically require only medication, do not require the onsite presence of a licensed physician and (the rule) is consequently unduly burdensome.”
However, he did not lift the rule for second- or third-trimester abortions, nor did he render a verdict on requirements that later abortions take place in licensed hospitals, that women be offered ultrasounds before abortion, or 24-hour waiting periods for abortion.
"This decision will change the abortion care landscape in Virginia," Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Jenny Ma declared. "More medical professionals will now be able to provide abortion care, which means more women will be able to access this constitutional right. We are challenging these laws in several other states and hope those courts will follow Virginia's lead."
Pro-lifers argue that relaxing the criteria for who can commit abortions will both increase the number of abortions in the state and put abortion-seeking women in greater danger by subjecting them to abortionists with less training or experience; infamous Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, for instance, delegated parts of the abortion process such as administering anesthesia to non-physician employees, one of whom was only 15 years old.
"Abortion through birth isn't enough for the abortion industry,” Family Foundation of Virginia president Virginia Cobb responded to the news. “Now it wants to increase its profit margin by not having to pay for doctors to do surgery."
The remaining questions over the ultrasound and waiting period provisions is slated for May 20, the Associated Press reported.
Virginia’s government is currently presided over by Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, one of the most infamously pro-abortion politicians in the country due to his defense of a bill that would have effectively allowed infanticide. But unfettered abortion-on-demand continues to receive pushback from Republican lawmakers, who last month blocked Northam’s budget proposal that would have restored taxpayer funding of abortion.