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Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities [REPEALED] [12 VAC 5 ‑ 412]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
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3/28/13  5:07 pm
Commenter: Amber Banks

Please reject ideologically motivated TRAP regulations
Dear Virginia Board of Health Members,
I was sad to see the intense political pressure that was put on you in an attempt to politicize the Board of Health. I understand that it was difficult and unexpected-- you have been, for so long, an "independent, objective, public health advisory group that acts with impartiality in weighing scientific evidence." [1]
However, I hope that you can resist that pressure and make an informed, medically based decision about these regulations.
It is very clear that these regulations are intended to restrict access to abortion by forcing clinics to close, and that they have little-to-no connection to standards for safe, medical care. I have looked through pages of comments asking you to support these regulations because "abortion is wrong," but this is not a place for moral or legal debates about abortion. That is a matter left to the lawmakers and to the Constitution. Political and religious debates have their places, but they don't belong here.
Your concern has always been science and medicine. In those areas, the facts are clear: first-trimester abortion, as are preformed in these clinics, is one of the safest medical procedures. [2] The dimensions of a doorway won't change that, and the political beliefs of any person should not influence your decisions as medical professionals.
Closing clinics is not in the best interest of women's health-- it limits their safe, legal, affordable options.
I implore you to remember your duty to the people of Virginia. You are not on the Board of Health to enforce the will of the current government or to push your own political beliefs, whatever they may be, on us. The citizens of Virginian trust in you to be impartial and professional, and to base your decision-making on scientific information.
Please, reject the current TRAP regulations. You know that they are not what is best for the health and safety of Virginians. You know that we deserve better than this.
Thank you,
Amber Banks
Ashburn, VA
[1] Public letter from Virginia physicians to the Board of Health. Published in the Richmond Times Dispatch on 9/11/12
[2] Guttmacher Institute, In Brief: Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States (Aug. 2011). According to Guttmacher, "The risk of abortion complications is minimal: Fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients experience a complication that requires hospitalization. Abortions performed in the first trimester pose virtually no long-term risk of such problems as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) or birth defects and little or no risk of preterm or low-birth-weight deliveries."
CommentID: 27362