Change is on the way for 20 abortion clinics in Virginia. They must soon meet the same regulations as hospitals, after the Board of Health decided Friday to make the controversial building standards a requirement.
The vote came down 11 to 2. Supporters clapped... opponents reacted very differently. Some smeared red paint on their hands and screamed, "Blood is on your hands! Think about that! You are not protecting healthcare!"
All Virginia abortion facilities must now meet building codes similar to a hospital's set up. Renovations will be costly, according to critics who say this is an attempt to shutdown clinics.
Opponents say the board gave into political pressure.
"We're very disappointed that the board chose to put politics above medicine," said Anna School, executive director of Progress VA.
Supporters say this vote protects women's health by making sure buildings are clean and safe.
"They perform invasive procedures, they should have the same regulations," said Sandy Adams, a nurse.
Two board members, James Edmonson and Dr. Anna Jeng, fought to delay Friday's vote. They wanted to bring back an exemption that excused existing clinics from the standards, an amendment attorney general Ken Cuccinelli has already rejected.
The members also wanted to look into other alternatives, but their colleagues were not on their side.
"My concern from the beginning has been access," said Edmondson. "I don't want to see any of the clinics close."
The first time these regulations went before the board of health was two years ago. The regulations will now go to Governor Bob McDonnell for review.
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