|Action||Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/29/2013|
Dear Esteemed Members of the Virginia Board of Health:
I am proud to be a citizen of Virginia for 29 years. The Commonwealth has protected our families in many ways: safe highways, safe schools, safe buildings...and much more.
However, the proposed Virginia regulation to increase the requirements for clinics providing women’s health care makes me ashamed to be a Virginia citizen. If enacted, it will throw families and women back centuries... to times when women were invisible and had no rights... to times when large families struggled for their lives with poverty and disease...to times with not-uncommon deaths from childbirth, high infant mortality and venereal diseases...even among the wealthy.
We have come so far. DO NOT FORCE US BACKWARDS to those dangerous times by approving the unnecessary and unfair restrictions on clinics which serve women’s health needs!
In 1973, I founded a women’s clinic in New England. We filled the gap in the basic reproductive health opportunities for women and their families in a city surrounded by farms and only small businesses. We provided family planning counseling, annual gynecological and breast exams, testing for uterine cancer and venereal diseases, all the birth control methods available at the time, and early pregnancy terminations.
Our facility was not a fancy office complex but rather a converted home. We operated with strict medical procedures and licensed doctors and nurses. We offered our services on a sliding fee scale. No family was refused our services for lack of funds. That clinic was still operating 25 years later providing medically-safe, affordable, and much needed services for families and women.
In the late 1970’s, I worked in the Maternal and Child Health Division of the Indiana State Health Department. Our agency funded family planning and well-baby clinics. On our site visits, I saw first hand how these clinics were the only healthcare many of the women got...other than in hospitals when they gave birth or had an accident.
I see no logic in restricting such women’s health clinics to requirements more rigorous than those required of any other out-patient medical facility. Please do not let the personal beliefs of some Virginia lawmakers destroy the progress in preventative health care the US has achieved.
I can be proud of a State which keeps its citizens safe and healthy. I cannot be proud of a State which sends its poor and its families back to the chilling times of decades ago.
Catherine Brooks, President of Eco-Strip
1905B Villaridge Drive, Reston, VA 20191 (703) 476-6222