Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities [REPEALED] [12 VAC 5 ‑ 412]
Action Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 3/29/2013
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
1/28/13  2:12 pm
Commenter: Marie Stella, Citizen

Board of Health's Cloud of Confusion and TRAP

I have just returned from being out of state for a month helping a sick family member, and listening to both national and international ridicule of Virginia's archaic philosophy and abuse of power against citizen's rights.  The TRAP rulings are a perfect example of this.  I have attended several meetings of this legislature and additional rulings that are based on lack of scientific data, political abuse of power, and sexism.  It is ironic that the state that showcased Eugenics and mandatory sterilization, and influenced Nazi Germany's justification for the persecution of so many people is now concerned about "life".  I use this term loosely because even the TORAH, the basis of our Judeo-Christian culture, does not consider a fetus cable of stirring and having feelings until at least 24 weeks - which would be well into the last trimester.  Ironically, studying abortion law, one of the main drivers for banning abortion in the 1920's was the fear that white, anglo-saxon, protestant  women were having abortions and the country would be overrun with southern european immigrants and catholics.  There seems to be some historical significance that Ken Cuccinelli, VA Attorney General and, according the the Board of Health, the leader advisor to the board on abortion issues, has recently launched an attack on the Roman Catholic church as the purveyors of a culture of dependency.  

I will turn 70 in March and I clearly remember the days of illegal abortions... hangers, clorax douches, suicide...Ironically those were only solutions for the poor and working class, those who could afford it went to France or got a D&C.  Now, when abortions are at a long time low, we launch a politically motivated attack on women.  Planned Parenthood and similar organizations, by the Board of Healths own reporting, provide an incredible service to Virginia.  Less than 3% of Planned Parenthood's budget goes to abortions, while the rest go for education, pap smear, mammagrams, other much needed service such as AIDS education and services, treatment of venereal disease, which is on the rise again.  Instead of supporting these critical services that keep all Virginians healthy and families from suffering the ravages of massive health care bills and even death, Virginia demands that parking lots be expanded and closets enlarged toprovide safer services.  The Board of Health's original decision to grandfather current facilities was correct.  But after Mr. Cuccinelli refused to provide legal support to the Board of Health members and gave them personal "guidance" as stated by the Board of Health members in an open forum, the board rescinded their original ruling.  Dr. McClusky, who, accoring to Bloomberg News is a successful leader in private healthcare, repeatedly advised the board and audience that she had operated under a "Cloud of Confusion" and hadn't read the bill prior to voting the first time, and that Mr. Cuccinelli, who obviously also holds a medical degree, was able to clarify the issues to the board.  This is amazing to me.  In all the fairly high level jobs I have held I have never heard a senior person admit that they came to work unprepared and operated under a cloud of confusion. Ordinarily this type of behavior, which reflect a lack of seriousness and competence, especially when addressing Virginian's health, would demand immediate dismissal.  Instead an incredible leader and person who Virginian's trust their health to, Dr. Karen Remley, resigned in protest, and the board continues to function under a cloud of confusion.  

During the last hearing the comments made identified how the members of the board were completely ot of touch with with working families and their responsibilities towards all virginians. Comments such as 'they (women) have to travel to planned parenthood they can make an emergency 1 1/2 visit to a hospital emergency room.'  People who make remarks like this are out of tune with the costs of health care, the need to have local health care, and generally lack empathy.  It is amazing they consider themselves healers.  These laws need to be overturned.  They speak very poorly for Virginia.  The cast the Board of Health in an extremely pioor and untrustworthy light.  Do you really believe that anyonewill trust the board to regulate the safty of uranium mining or our water after this blatent display of ignorance and political bias.  We need to end TRAP and if we were wise, ask Dr, Remley, one of the few people onn the Board with a conscience, to return.

I would also like to note that there was not adequate time for public comment at the hearings.

I hope ou wil seroiusly consider my thoughts on this subject.




Marie Stella

CommentID: 24989