Abortion Is Different From Medical Procedures Except When It’s Not

Ask an anti-choice activist why clinics that perform abortions need to be held to extra regulations, like Virginia and Kansas are proposing, and they will tell you that clinics need to be held to the same standards as any other medical establishment.

When Virginia passed a law earlier this year, they stated all clinics should be on the same regulatory footing:

The 20-20 vote on Senate Bill 924, which now heads to Gov. Bob McDonnell, represents a significant victory for anti-abortion activists, who have been trying for years to restrict access to abortion in Virginia, only to have bills killed in the Democratic-controlled Senate Education and Health Committee. McDonnell said he will sign the bill, calling it a “clinic safety issue.”

“It’s still going to have to be reviewed to see if there are any legal issues that need to be addressed,” he told reporters Thursday. “But I think it’s fair to say that all outpatient surgical hospitals or clinics should be regulated in the same way, and I think this bill will do that.”

But when it comes to trying to ban telemed abortions, suddenly abortion isn’t the same as any other outpatient clinic, and should be treated differently.  As Nebraska bans abortion via webcam, advocates stated:

“We think we are on solid legal ground as per the A.G. opinion. Most especially because legal precedent proves that abortion is different from other medical procedures and can be treated differently.”

No need for consistency in your talking points if you’re trying to outlaw affordable, accessible, legal abortions.

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  • waterjoe

    The statements are not inconsistent.  One is about policy – it would be good/fair policy to regulate all medical clinics the same way.  The other is a factual statement about the law – the Supreme Court has said that abortion is different from other medical procedures and can be treated differently.


    The two issues are different in another way.  In the clinic regulation proposals, the issue is minimum equivalency, not maximum.  In the telemedicine, it is about placing extra regulations beyond the minimum.


    Disagree with the proposals, but they are not inconsistent with each other.