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Abortion clinic rules not an effort to close them


Date published: 5/26/2014

With reference to the May 19 editorial on the Opinion page: "Clinic regulations need review," I am concerned about this statement: "The problem with many of these regulations [imposing safety standards on abortion clinics] is that they aren't really about safety for women, and the new 'standards' don't make women safer. That's just a front to cover up the real intent of eradicating abortion clinics altogether."

The applicable part of the legislation in question reads, in part, that "abortion facilities shall comply with state and local codes In addition, abortion facilities shall comply with 2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities of the Facilities Guidelines Institute."

The referenced guidelines set standards for facilities that deliver health care; in particular, paragraph 3.1.7.2.2.3 sets standards for door openings: "if the outpatient facility serves patients confined to stretchers or wheelchairs, the minimum width of door opening to rooms shall be [3 feet, 8 inches]."

This particular safety standard permits ambulance crews to respond to health emergencies. Perhaps Gosnell's patients might be alive had this requirement existed in Pennsylvania; I pray the situation will not occur in Virginia, assuming that abortion facilities comply in good faith with the requirements of the law.

This should not be about the politics of abortion--as The Free Lance-Star clearly opines--it's about the safe delivery of health care to women undergoing these medical procedures.

The larger issue is whether Gov. McAuliffe accepts his role as the state's chief executive--which is to enforce all the laws of the commonwealth, not merely the laws he agrees with.

Alan Clune

Locust Grove