RICHMOND - The Virginia Board of Health Friday approved strict new rules on the state's nearly two dozen abortion clinics.
The regulations require those facilities to meet new building and hygiene specifications to bring them in line with standards for new hospitals.
Supporters say the rules will protect women’s health while opponents fear they will force many of the 20 clinics to close.
After the vote, The Virginia ACLU wrote, "The Board refused to 'grandfather in' existing women's healthcare centers, so that many of them will have to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on medically unnecessary architectural renovations."
Before the vote, the board heard from dozens of people on both sides of the issue, including former Commissioner of Health Karen Remley. She resigned last October after the Board adopted the regulations.
ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl called the vote "outrageous," saying the Board has ignored the advice of medical professionals and the comments of Virginians, who overwhelmingly oppose the regulations.