The Virginia Board of Health votes to adopt more strict regulations, but at what cost to the community?
The Virginia Board of Health voted Thursday to require abortion clinics throughout the state to meet stringent new standards that could force many of the state’s 22 clinics to close their doors.
As these clinics often cater to lower-income communities, countless women could be left with nowhere to turn for affordable care.
The new regulations, which passed in a 12-1 vote, would apply to any abortion clinics that provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month, reports The Washington Post. Virginia law requires that second-trimester abortions be performed at hospitals.
Among other points, clinics will need to meet the same strict physical requirements of outpatient surgical centers that would be doing complex and invasive surgeries, down to the size of exam rooms, public corridors and the height of ceilings. The cost of these modifications, pro-abortion advocates argued at the four-and-a-half hour long meeting, could force many of the state’s clinics to close their doors.
But the true concern is not in the dollars and cents associated with the upgrades, but for the countless women who will be affected in the wake of the reform.
Nationally, the states known to have the highest pregnancy rates among Black teenagers aged 15–19 were New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, according to recent data from the Guttmacher Institute.
According to a report titled Racial Targeting and Population Control, anti-abortion group Life Dynamics alleges that African-Americans and Latinos are especially targeted by pro-abortion groups, who place abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods.
They say the push for contraception and abortion alternatives in these communities has not helped to decrease the pregnancy rates of Black women, but instead has effectively served as a “genocidal effort aimed at minorities — especially African-Americans,” researchers in the study write.
(Photo: AARON M. SPRECHER/ICON SMI/Landov)