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Virginia Regulations Could Shutter Abortion Clinics

HeadlinesSep 20, 2012

Abortion clinics in Virginia are facing a major setback after the state’s board of health reversed an earlier decision that exempted them from stringent building codes. The regulations in question are akin to those imposed on hospitals, governing everything from the size of the janitors’ closets to the width of hallways. Some Virginia clinics say the rules may force their closure due to the costs of remodeling. The board’s reversal follows what critics call bullying by the state’s attorney general, who rejected a decision in June exempting existing clinics from the rules and said the board had overstepped its authority. Ken Cuccinelli had told board members they could not exempt clinics and warned them they would be personally liable for legal fees if they were sued after rejecting his advice. The Virginia law is part of a nationwide wave of so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider, or TRAP, laws aimed at ending access to abortion.

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