RICHMOND — The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to require clinics that perform abortions to meet strict, hospital-style building codes that operators say could put many of them out of business.Read the rest here.
The 11 to 2 vote represented the board’s final say on the matter, which has taken unexpected twists and turns since the General Assembly voted in 2011 to regulate abortion clinics like outpatient surgical centers. The regulations went straight to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), who quickly certified them. They now go to two state agencies and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who is expected to sign off on them.
Always a politically charged issue in the commonwealth, abortion is likely to take on an even greater presence in this year’s governor’s race because of the new clinic rules. The race features two candidates who seem to be polar opposites on the issue: Cuccinelli, an opponent of abortion, and Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a supporter of abortion rights.