Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell appointed anti-choice obstetrician Dr. John W. Seed to the Virginia Board of Health this week. He is a vocal public opponent of legal first-trimester abortion. He serves as vice-chairman of anti-choice group “OBGYNS for Life”; is a member of the “medical resource council” of The Family Foundation, a religiously-based anti-choice group; and has testified many times in the Virginia General Assembly against abortion.
Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Chair, Tarina Keene, said in a press release (see PDF), “For Governor McDonnell to appoint Dr. James Seeds, a prominent member of an ideological anti-choice organization, to a public health body charged with acting objectively on the side of patient safety, is a clear and shocking conflict of interest…With this appointment, this activist governor continues to display a disdain for women’s health, playing politics with lives instead of acting in the public interest.”
Just last month, the Virginia Board of Health voted 7 to 4 to exempt existing clinics from building regulations that would have required substantial renovations. Early this week, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli refused to certify the new Virginia targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP), which contain the building regulations. The regulations require that new first-trimester abortion clinics are built to meet hospital construction standards. Also under the regulations, state authorities, without notice, can enter any clinic, existing or new, to examine patient medical records, gather a list of current patients, and interview patients on site, potentially violating both patient and provider privacy. The regulations will now be reviewed by anti-choice Governor Bob McDonnell.
Media Resources: Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health Press Release 7/16/2012; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/18/2012, 7/17/2012