The Virginia Board of Health will vote today on permanent targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP) that will impose restrictions on the state’s abortion clinics. The state’s proposed regulations have been called the most restrictive policies in the country.
Hundreds of activists gathered at the Board of Health meeting this morning to protest the TRAP law. Emily Creveling, funding manager at Falls Church Healthcare Center and a health educator, told reporters from the Associated Press, “Women have had abortions for thousands of years, and the law isn’t going to stop it. It’ll just become unsafe.”
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed the TRAP law last year and emergency regulations have been in effect since January 1, even though there was no declared public health emergency. The law requires that first-trimester abortion clinics undergo architectural renovations so that hallways are a specific width and ceilings are a specific height. Also under the regulations, state authorities can enter a clinic to inspect at any time without notice to examine patient medical records, gather a list of current patients, and interview patients on site, potentially violating both patient and provider privacy.
AP 6/15/12; Richmond Times-Dispatch 6/15/12; OpposeTrap Press Release 6/13/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/4/12