Conservative forces in the Virginia state legislature sent four anti-abortion measures through committee on Monday and held a hearing today on a bill that could force clinic closures in the state. The state Senate Education and Health Committee is considering today the TRAP bill (“Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers”), SB 772. The bill calls for abortion clinics–which already fall under federal and state regulations, including the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)–to take on the additional burdens to which hospitals are subjected. Specifically, the bill forces clinics to meet measurement for square footage, doorways, parking lots, closets, and drinking fountain placement–all of which amount to extensive costs and renovations that could hinder or ultimately close clinic operations.
Opponents to the bill argue that it is a blatant attack by right-wing forces that threatens the health of women in Virginia. The bill is specifically targeted at abortion clinics, applying only to facilities that provide over 25 abortions a year and excluding other outpatient clinics.
Meanwhile, the measures passed out of the Virginia House Courts of Justice Committee earlier this week include parental consent requirements for minors and bans on abortion procedures. The Feminist Majority joins other progressive, feminist groups in opposing all restrictions on access to safe and legal abortions.
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