Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia applauds attorney general opinion on clinics

virginia-newThis morning, the Office of the Attorney General issued new legal guidance regarding how the Virginia Department of Health and State Board of Health can proceed with implementing revisions to Virginia’s TRAP regulations. In particular, the guidance notes that the Board of Health does not have the authority to require existing women’s health centers to comply with new regulations.

“Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia is pleased that the Office of the Attorney General has issued updated legal guidance regarding the medically unnecessary restrictions for Virginia’s women’s health centers,” said Executive Director Cianti Stewart Reid. “This new guidance gives the Board of Health the ability to craft regulations that reflect the safety record of first trimester abortion and evidence-based medicine.”

The guidance comes before the Board of Health’s meeting on June 4 to review proposed changes to the regulations and will provide the Board an opportunity to bring the regulations in line with medically appropriate protocols. The periodic review of the TRAP restrictions was initiated by Governor Terry McAuliffe in May 2014, and since then, thousands of Virginians and medical experts have implored the Board of Health to revise the restrictions. Since their enactment in July 2013, three of 21 women’s health centers have closed or stopped offering abortion services, in part, due to TRAP.

“We all share a commitment to ensuring patient health and safety, but the TRAP restrictions don’t do that,” said Stewart-Reid. “Each year, thousands of women and families rely on Planned Parenthood health centers for lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and safe, legal abortion. We have served the women and families of the Commonwealth for more than 70 years, and we will continue to provide compassionate, nonjudgmental care, no matter what.”

Planned Parenthood operates 7 health centers across Virginia and serves more than 25,000 patients annually.

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