Dave Andrusko

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Pro-Abortion Va. Gov. lays out new strategy to undercut protective abortion clinic regulations

Dave Andrusko
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May 13, 2014 (NRLC) - There was never any doubt where pro-abortion Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe stood on the General Assembly law passed in 2011 requiring that abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers. He was against them.

Now that he is governor, the only question was how he would try to undermine the rules enacted by the Virginia Board of Health. This morning he unveiled his latest approach.

By law he can’t throw out the current members. So, he announced this morning that he is appointing five new members to state Board of Health and ordered them to review the abortion clinic regulations.

And wouldn’t you know it, padding the board and ordering another look at “the extreme and punitive regulations adopted last year” comes just as abortion clinics in Virginia have until the end of June to comply. What a coincidence.

Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, told NRL News Today

“As expected, pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe is working hard to protect abortionists and not the women and unborn babies of Virginia. This effort to undermine Virginia’s reasonable and protective abortion clinic regulations is an example of how committed Gov. McAuliffe is to the abortion industry lobby that helped to get him elected. Abortion remains a dangerous and deadly procedure that can hurt the mother and always kills her child.”

In the amusing-if-it-weren’t-so-awful category, McAuliffe—about to lard the board of Health with his political appointees—said the 2012 regulations were “arbitrary” and “marked by political interference.”

Not surprisingly, the abortion industry applauded the review. “I am absolutely thrilled to see Governor McAuliffe take this bold and critical stand for the women and families of Virginia,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

As the Washington Post explained today, this is the latest McAuliffe strategy.

“As a candidate, McAuliffe said he would do away with the regulations by issuing a ‘guidance opinion,’ a mechanism whose existence legal experts later called into question,” according to Laura Voazella. “Now governor, he has struck upon the review process as a possible way. McAuliffe also stacked the 15-member health board with five new abortion rights supporters, after nudging four members to wrap up their terms a month early.”

NRL News Today has followed the battle for years, posting literally dozens of stories. The narrative is incredibly complicated but can summarize fairly briefly.

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The General Assembly passed a law in 2011 requiring that abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers. As is often the case, the specifics of implementing the law (formulating the rules) were left to someone else—in this case the Board of Health.

Pro-abortionists tried everything under the sun to derail the rules, or to remove their teeth. They were unsuccessful until June 2012 when out of the blue the Board of Health decided to “grandfather” in the 20 existing abortion clinics, meaning they were exempt from the new building standards, staff training, sanitation, and equipment standards.

This was flatly at odds with what the state legislature had intended and then-Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told the Board of Health so in so many words.

In July 2013, the Board changed its mind and reversed itself. Pro-abortionists turned their blatant misrepresentation of the state’s intent into a critique of Cuccinelli (who ran unsuccessfully for Governor against McAuliffe) for supposedly “bullying” the Board.

Which brings us back to today.

On the off-chance anyone would come to the obvious conclusion—that this is just the latest example of the McAuliffe administration skirting state law– spokesman Brian Coy said, “The governor is not a king, but he’s doing everything within his power.”

How’s that? “Any regulation can be reviewed every four years after adopted,” reported Vozzella (part of the Post reporting team that hammered former Governor Gov. Bob McDonnell unmercifully). “McAuliffe was simply asking for the review sooner than normal,” Coy said.

Reprinted with permission from NRLC

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