The commonwealth of Virginia just passed historic legislation that many abortion clinics have said might force them to close. What sort of radical new law is this? Some kind of abortion ban?
Actually, no. The new law simply requires “facilities in which five or more first-trimester abortions per month are performed” to now abide by some of the same regulations as “hospital facilities.” Previously clinics were only required to comply with the standards for doctors’ officers where surgeries are not performed.
Numerous abortion clinics have said that they might have to close in response. Apparently the conditions in these clinics are non-compliant with the regulations and they don't want to go to the "trouble" of complying with the abortion clinic reforms.
(Virgina already requires second trimester abortions to be performed in a hospital, which, incidentally, so does the City of Richland, Washington.)
There are three important points that Washingtonians can take away from this development:
1) It only serves to highlight how far out of the mainstream Washington State is with its "zero regulation" policy towards the abortion industry. After the Kermitt Gosnell scandal started making national headlines, which resulted in the firing of at least 6 Pennsylvania Health Department employees due to their ideologically-driven policy of "legal abortion = safe abortion" and viewing every abortionist as another Marcus Welby, we checked with the Washington State Department of Health to see if they were reviewing their abortion clinic inspection regime to avoid a similarly disastrous situation for women and children on the West Coast.
Their response stunned us. Washington has no policy of inspections of abortion clinics. And Washington has no regulations of abortion clinics. And there were no plans to review any of that! The trend everywhere else in the United States, even among pro-abortion liberals, is towards revisiting abortion clinic "deregulation" loopholes and replacing it with with common-sense reforms. Washington continues to earn its reputation as the Abortion State.
2) The bill to regulate pregnancy centers out of existence has been sold by some Democrat legislators under the false claim that it would just be regulating them "the same way abortion clinics are". The fact is that abortion clinics are NOT regulated as facilities, as the Department of Health has admitted.
A regulation like the Virginia one would be a great way for Planned Parenthood and the Washington abortion industry to demonstrate some good faith, and to make it so that the talking points they're feeding their servants in Olympia stop getting thrown back at them by educated citizens to humiliating effect.
3) Good laws regulating abortion can be passed without a majority by effective legislators. Despite the fact that Virginia is less of a pro-abortion, godless wasteland than Washington, the state senate is, like ours, controlled by a Democrat majority. Hence most pro-life bills, like this one, are killed in committee by the party of death.
But a clever state senator, Republican Kathy Byron, managed to get it attached as an amendment in committee to a separate bill. On the senate floor, the vote tied 20-20. The bill passed with the deciding vote from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.