The legislation targets a procedure called dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is often used during second-trimester abortions. Depending on the language of the bill, it could ban all surgical abortions in the state past 14 weeks’ gestation, or even earlier.
The impact of targeted regulations on abortion providers extends beyond financial—it can also make it challenging to sustain a vision of quality “woman-centered” care.
According to statements made at a recent conference attended by RH Reality Check, the National Right to Life Committee plans to perform stings of abortion clinics, while also pushing for an expansion of the laws that govern abortion to allow third parties to sue the clinics in civil court for alleged violations.
During her speech accepting the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning in Seattle, Carole Joffe explained that although in many ways reproductive rights are under assault from state legislatures, “some things in the world of abortion provision are different—even arguably better” than they were in years past.
Today, in a striking decision, the Virginia Board of Health allowed lies, ideology, and politics to triumph over medical science and the rights of women when it imposed medically-unnecessary restrictions on reproductive health providers.
A stealth amendment to a bill passed with the help of anti-choice Democrats in Virginia would require that all first trimester procedures be performed in hospitals, and all clinics and facilities providing first trimester abortions to “become hospitals.” If passed, it will effectively eliminate access to safe abortions in clinics.