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Women’s clinics where abortions are performed were as safe as any medical office before new regulations.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
And so it begins. The skirts-on-fire lying ads. The first, but certainly not the last, for this year’s gubernatorial campaign.
Women Speak Out Virginia, a PAC affiliated with the Susan B. Anthony List, launched a radio ad claiming that Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe “refuses to require women’s health clinics to provide the same sanitary environment we expect of dental offices and hospitals.”
It isn’t just us calling bull. The lie earned the group a “Pants on Fire” rating by Politifact.
For those unfamiliar with the Susan B. Anthony List, thinking it a women’s suffrage rather than a women suffering movement, it is an organization of extremists united for the sole purpose of destroying Planned Parenthood and ending all taxpayer-funded abortions, as if the Hyde Amendment and other measures haven’t already. Skirting the truth appears to be the axis on which the organization rotates.
The problem, though, in spinning such deceit is that too many Virginians know the truth: The state does not require the offices of dentists, plastic surgeons, oral surgeons or any other number of health care providers performing invasive procedures to adhere to the same sanitary and building regulations that it now requires of women’s health clinics offering first-term abortions. And by first-term abortions, the law makes no distinction between facilities in which surgery is performed and one in which a pill is handed to a woman.
Until the rule change, abortion clinics were regulated exactly the same as any other physician’s office — including dental offices. With the rule change, abortion clinics will be inspected by the state Department of Health at least once every two years. Inspections of dental offices remain on a complaints-only schedule.
Further, the most restrictive reading of the rules demanded by the Susan B. Anthony List’s anointed gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, demands that existing women’s clinics meet the physical requirements the building code sets out for new hospitals — a definition that even Carilion and LewisGale hospitals would find challenging and one that regulators wouldn’t dare consider for a dentist’s office.
Making the case that these regulations are only about the health and safety of women is demonstrably false. If this were about patients’ health and safety, dentists would also be required to work out of brand new hospitals.
Practicing such calculated and pervasive dishonesty prevents Virginians from having the necessary conversation: How can we make the need for abortions rare?
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