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New regulations set for Va. abortion clinicscomment (0)

October 13, 2011

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Board of Health has voted 12–1 for emergency regulations requiring abortion clinics to meet hospital-type health-and-safety standards.

The regulations will govern abortion clinics for as long as 18 months before permanent rules are put into place.

The law giving rise to the regulations — the first in the nation to mandate such regulations for clinics performing first-trimester abortions — was enacted in March. Pro-choice advocates protested that 17 of the state’s abortion clinics could be closed by the resultant regulations.

Among their stipulations, the rules adopted Sept. 15 permit unannounced inspections and require doctors to stay at clinics until women who have undergone abortions are discharged. They also include requirements for the size of hallways and rooms, improved sanitary conditions and the presence of emergency medical equipment.

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