Virginia Board of Health Targets Abortion Providers with Politically-Motivated Regulations


Thursday, September 15, 2011


NAF Communications Department

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF):

Today, the Virginia Board of Health passed medically unnecessary, politically-motivated regulations targeting the state’s abortion providers. These regulations will not make abortion safer, but will just make it more difficult for abortion providers to remain open and for women to continue to access the abortion care they need.

This morning, the Board of Health heard testimony from abortion providers and members of the medical community opposing these medically unnecessary regulations. However, they still chose to reject numerous amendments offered to protect the safety and confidentiality of both providers and patients with little to no debate. It is deeply distressing that the Board chose to put politics ahead of medical evidence and women’s health.

Abortion has an outstanding safety record, and Virginia providers are already highly regulated. Fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients experience a complication that requires hospitalization. Health care facilities, including women’s health centers, are already required to comply with a variety of federal and state regulations. Medical professionals, including physicians and clinicians who work in abortion care, are required to maintain professional standards and licenses and complete continuing medical education courses. Additionally, most abortion providers comply with professional guidelines and established standards of care.

There is no evidence that unnecessary regulations like those passed in Virginia today do anything to improve patient safety. These new regulations are not about ensuring that abortion care is “safe.” They are about ensuring that abortion care is unavailable in Virginia.


The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in North America who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at

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