The 11-4 vote lifted restrictions imposed under a 2011 law that the
board found were an undue burden on abortion providers, the
Among other guidelines, the regulations called for facilities that
perform five or more abortions a month to undertake costly
renovations to meet hospital-style building codes instead of their
current design as outpatient clinics. Backers had argued that the
standards kept women safe, but opponents claimed they limited
abortion access for women.
The board's vote followed a Supreme Court decision in June that
struck down a Texas law imposing similar restrictions on facilities
that carry out abortions.
Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe hailed the decision. "This
afternoon’s vote signals a victory and the end of a protracted
regulatory fight over the future of women’s health in Virginia," he
said in a statement.
The Republican-controlled legislature and Republican Governor Robert
McDonnell approved a law in 2011 that ordered the board to regulate
the clinics. McAuliffe asked the Board of Health in 2014 to review
and remove the rules.
[to top of second column]
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by David Gregorio)
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