Anti-abortion legislators in Virginia scored a "major victory" last week by passing regulations that could shutter as many as 17 of the state's 21 abortion clinics. The new rules regulate abortion clinics as hospitals rather than as doctors' offices, according to The Washington Post. Supporters say that will make abortions safer, but critics argue it will only drive facilities out of business by requiring them to make "cost-prohibitive" renovations. Are Virginia's lawmakers just being responsible by setting higher standards — or is this just an attempt to strike a blow against abortion rights?
This is about safety: This law will protect women's health, says Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, as quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The regulations required by this law would simply "ensure that these centers are safe for the women who make the unfortunate choice of abortion."
"After vote, Virginia's abortion clinics face new regulation"
Come on. This is clearly about limiting abortions: Calling this a safety measure is "hogwash," says Clay Jones at Fredericksburg.com. This law is about shutting down "as many clinics as possible" and making it harder for women who want legal abortions to get them. The good news for abortion rights advocates is that the law appears to be unconstitutional, and would probably be struck down in court.
"Virginia abortion rules"
Clinics will find a way to stay open: Of course the measure "is motivated by hostility toward abortion," but that is "largely irrelevant," say the editors of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Business leaders always complain when new regulations are handed down, and yet "time after time, they have found a way to live with the rules." Virginia's abortion clinics will find a way to survive as well.
"Abortion clinics: crackdown"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- How to be the star of a cocktail party where you don't know anyone
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- California's epic drought
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week