Friday, August 27, 2010

Planned Parenthood of Virginia responds to Cuccinelli opinion

From Planned Parenthood of Virginia: This week, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion, at the request of Senator Ralph Smith (R-22) and Delegate Robert Marshall (R-13), stating the Virginia Board of Health has the legal authority to regulate abortion providers as ambulatory surgery centers.

Currently, abortion providers in Virginia are regulated in the same way as other medical facilities that provide outpatient procedures. First trimester abortion procedures are already safely performed in physician offices and health centers. Furthermore, abortions are currently provided in accordance with standards set by federal and state regulatory agencies, as well professional and licensing organizations. The architectural, procedural, staffing and equipment requirements of ambulatory surgery centers are unrelated to the safety of first trimester abortions provided in medical offices.

For more than a decade, Planned Parenthood has opposed legislation aimed to enforce additional regulations, which would force nearly all first-trimester abortions be performed only in hospitals. This latest assault by the Attorney General is a thinly disguised attempt to impose burdensome and unnecessary regulations on abortion providers so that the provision of services would become prohibitively expensive and thus out of reach for many women in Virginia .

Presently, this opinion is just that, an opinion! However, Planned Parenthood will raise objections if the Board of Health uses this opinion to impose an ideological political agenda that singles out one medical procedure in order to restrict access to health care.

Be assured that Planned Parenthood’s number one priority is the health and safety of our patients. We will continue to ensure that comprehensive and affordable access to health care is accessible to women in the Commonwealth.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary, Politics

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