On Monday, the Pennsylvania House Health Committee approved a bill that would require clinics that provide abortions to meet the standards of outpatient surgery centers, which are far more stringent than the regulations on physician’s offices and would impose new restrictions on hallway and parking lot dimensions. The bill, approved by the state House committee by a vote of 19 to 4, will now go to the state House for a vote.
The American Civil Liberties Union opposes the bill and stated that Pennsylvania law already offers regulations on equipment, staff, counseling, and reporting by abortion clinics. The ACLU also indicated that “This will particularly impact poor women and women who reside in rural areas.” The regulations will significantly and unnecessarily increase the cost of early abortions and will make it more difficult for women to get an abortion.
At the end of March, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell signed a bill requiring that clinics that perform first trimester abortions meet the Board of Health regulations on hospitals. The Virginia Senate and House voted to pass the bill in February.