Virginia’s onerous new regulations for clinics that provide abortions — regulations that were believed to be passed in an attempt to shut down most of the clinics in the state — have been mostly de-fanged as the State Board of Health voted to “grandfather” existing clinics. The change means that for all of the existing reproductive health clinics, the new regulations on everything from the size of doorways to the types of medication and blood pressure cuffs that must be on hand, will not be applied.
CBS 6 News’ Shelby Brown said the board first voted 7-4 to remove a requirement that forced clinics to be held to the same standards as hospitals. In turn, only new clinics would be held to those standards.
Then, after some more debate, the board voted on the measure again. This time, the vote was 6-5 after one member decided to change their vote.
Emergency regulations to require clinics be held to the hospital standards had been in place since January.
“The grandfather amendment was the best thing that could happen to very bad regulations,” said of the regulation’s critics. “We still have some of the most stringent and specific regulations in the nation.”
About 300 protesters showed up at the hearing, where they found police squad cars already on hand. The debate continued for hours prior to the vote.