Manassas Behind Virginia A.G.’s Abortion Clinic Regulation Push


The city of Manassas, Virginia, has been very busy lately trying to block a shop looking to sell lotions, dvds and lingerie from opening in their downtown.  Should the legal wrangling not pay off, the citizens have vowed they will use the same tactics they use with abortion clinics to try and shut it down.

Well, maybe they should add “getting the state Attorney General involved for his own political gain” to their list.  It appears that Manassas is actually the reason Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli got involved in trying to regulate abortion clinics.

Via the Washington Post:

Opponents of abortion in the Manassas area scored a victory Monday when the City Council passed a resolution supporting the Virginia attorney general’s August legal opinion that the state can impose stricter regulations over first-trimester abortion clinics.

[Council member Marc T. Aveni (R)] said the council has been hearing from anti-abortion advocates for years about the Manassas clinic. About two years ago, the city looked into placing regulations on the facility, he said, but officials were advised it is a state, not a local, issue. Aveni said the council is also submitting to the governor and attorney general possible regulations, including requirements that a registered nurse be present, that doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that annual inspections take place.

Haymarket resident Aaron Messier, who attended the meeting, said afterward that he has been praying at the local clinic for 10 years. He is also participating in a national campaign — 40 Days for Life — that draws attention to the “evil of abortion” through prayer, fasting, constant vigil and community outreach, the campaign’s Web site says.

“We’re just trying to save the unborn children,” Messier said. “I think this is a step in the right direction. [City Council members] say they can’t do anything locally, but I think they can. The regulations are to protect the mother, but we still need to protect the children.”

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II‘s opinion was a response to requests from Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who attended Monday’s council meeting, and state Sen. Ralph K. Smith (R-Roanoke), asking whether the state had the authority to regulate the facilities. The opinion applies only to first-trimester abortions, as second- and third-trimester abortions are performed in hospitals. The Board of Health regulated abortion clinics in Virginia from 1981 to 1984, when then-Gov. Charles S. Robb (D) ended the practice, according to the opinion.

Should regulation pass, and require “that a registered nurse be present, that doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that annual inspections take place,” you can then thank the city council of Manassas.

One council member voted against the resolution, stating, “Abortion is a terrible thing; almost always, abortion represents a moral failure.  But being this is a state political matter, I believe it’s inappropriate . . . [for] the city, as an entity, [to] take a stance.”

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • joeynaralva

    In this push by Cuccinelli, Marshall and Aveni we have to note abortion providers are already regulated (in a similar fashion to other outpatient facilities performing similar procedures such as colonoscopies, tonsillectomies, LASIK and appendectomies) by the Board of Medicine, Board of Health Professions, Board of Pharmacy, Board of Nursing and other regulatory bodies and guidelines. Virginia anti-choice zealots are proposing solutions in search of problems that do not exist and seem to be deliberately misstating facts for their own agenda.

     

    New regulations sought by Marshall, Aveni and Cuccinelli only target one valued member of the medical community: abortion providers. Therefore, we can see this strategy not as an effort to improve women’s health, but for what it really is: another attempt to end access to abortion in Virginia.