Health regulators to vote on abortion changes

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A rally took place at VCU from noon til 1 p.m., supporters hoping that state regulators will not require tougher regulations and procedures for abortion clinics in Virginia. This comes on the same day that Gov. McDonnell's approval rating grows.

It's a debate raging for decades: Abortion and the regulations that come with it.

State Health Regulators are on the verge of making things tougher on abortion clinics like the one Shelley Abrams works at in the West End.

"We are not against regulations. I'm okay with regulations. But, the physical plant regulations would probably cost millions of dollars and I don't know what small business could afford that," says Abrams.

She's talking about the fact that, if passed, abortion clinics will have to get a license from the state to operate and would also hold these clinics to the standards of a hospital.

"Requiring air exchange systems in the operating room. They are really far too extensive for the kind of safe, outpatient surgery that we do," says Abrams.

She says this is about more than just that. "It's created to put abortion clinics out of business and limit abortions here in Virginia."

But that clearly is something that is not popular with Virginians. Several state groups support the measure and so does Governor Bob McDonnell.

In a Quinnipiac poll out this morning, it shows by a clear majority -- women, men, Republicans and Democrats all support these new regulations. In fact, 50 percent of registered voters consider the new law a way to improve women's health. Only a third of people think it's all an effort to put abortion clinics like Shelley's out of business.

This will all head to a vote tomorrow by State Health Regulators. There will be a public comment period before the vote. If approved, the measure will head to the Governor's office.