Virginia’s Attorney General refuses to certify abortion clinic regulations
Virginia’s Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II refused to sign off on state Board of Health regulations on Monday, which exempt current abortion clinics from new hospital-style construction standards. A month ago, the board voted to exempt existing clinics from the new rules, which would have required extensive renovations. Senior assistant Attorney General Allyson K. Tysinger said the office would not certify the regulations in a four sentence letter to the health department.
“The Board does not have the statutory authority to adopt these Regulations,” the letter said. ““[T]he Board has exceeded its authority. Thus, this Office cannot certify these Regulations.” The decision is determined on a legal basis and has nothing to with whether the attorney general’s office agrees with the policy or not, according to spokesman Brian Gottstein. The attorney general’s office was the first step in the process, which will now continue through the executive branch review. If the new regulations are implemented, clinics would have to revamp their facilities, such as widening hallways and doorways or installing drinking fountains and telephones in waiting rooms. Many clinics said the renovations are costly and could force them to close.