|Action||Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/29/2013|
It is my opinion that TRAP laws are hypocritical. These regulations are contrary to Gov. McDonnell’s Regulatory Reform Initiative. Gov. McDonnell charged agencies with repealing unnecessary regulations that burden individuals, businesses and other groups, and identifying statutes that require “unnecessary or overly burdensome regulations.” Yet, he signed off on these new rules governing women’s health centers that perform abortion, which are a prime example of the overregulation he is trying to reduce. Ideological Hypocrisy, plain and simple.
There are Loopholes in this plan that are big enough to drive a MAC truck through that will leave patient confidentiality unprotected. Patients are targeted for harassment outside health centers and there is a history of anti-choice activists seeking patient information in order to deter women from obtaining care. The regulations contain several loopholes that allow inspectors to remove patient records from the facility, rather than requiring them to examine the records onsite, and allow inspectors to request a list of all current patients. These regulations should be rejected so women’s health centers can continue to provide safe, accessible, comprehensive health care.
These regulations threaten Virginia jobs and the economy. Women’s health centers are part of the small business community, which plays a vital role in the Commonwealth’s economy. The Virginia Department of Health estimates that complying with these regulations could force women's health centers to spend over $2.5 million. In an unprecedented governmental attack on a legitimate business providing a legal service, centers that cannot afford the unnecessary expensive renovations will be forced to close, eliminating jobs across the Commonwealth. Not to mention adding to the health costs of Virginians. TRAP laws will hurt women as well as men, restricting access to a wide range of preventive reproductive healthcare services, including life-saving cancer screenings, family planning and STI testing and treatment, as well as early abortion.