|Action||Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/29/2013|
Dear Members of the Board of Health: I want to first thank you for your service to the citizens of Virginia. As a physician here in Virginia, I appreciate that the subject of abortion is a difficult one both politically and religiously. We all need to respect those beliefs no matter what our own personal beliefs might be. I realize members of the Board have varied personal beliefs as well , however in my opinion, those beliefs must be left outside the Board room when deliberating rules and regulations that effect the health of all Virginians. Any decisions should be based on evidenced based data and if the data suggests a certain approach to medical care, then the Board has the responsibility to follow that approach. According to all of the experts, abortion clinics have had an excellent safety record. In addition, in my opinion, no evidence has been presented that the onerous architectural guidelines being presented will improve the safey of the abortion clinics now in existence. If the Board can demonstrate that these new rules can significantly improve safety, I believe they have an obligation to present that evidence at their Board meeting. As a physician, I also agree that safety and quality care come first.
The reputation and credibility of our Board of Health is at stake. Should the decisions of the Board be perceived as being influenced by political pressure, then any future decisions will always be suspect. I hope that all members will rise above the politics of the day and base any decisions on defensible medical data. I wish all members continued success.
Kenneth Olshansky, M.D.