The Family Foundation of Virginia is challenging Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration "regarding violations of state law by the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia State Board of Health during the abortion center health and safety standards regulatory process."
The group made the appeal in Henrico Circuit Court on Friday.
In a press release, Victoria Cobb, president of the foundation, issued this statement:
Appellants argue that during the nearly three-year process of amending the standards, the administration and Board violated the Administrative Process Act, various other portions of the Virginia Code, and the Governor’s own Executive Order 17 regarding the regulatory review process, more than 20 times. Virginia’s Administrative Process Act is the law. It exists to provide legal boundaries and process for unelected regulatory bodies, to ensure public input throughout the regulatory process and to provide a means to hold these agencies accountable when they go beyond the scope of their authority. This administration chose to simply ignore the law in its desperate attempt to pay back the abortion industry.
The Family Foundation says the Virginia State Board of Health and the commissioner of Health were aware of the law but violated it anyway.
"If allowed to stand, the McAuliffe administration has invented a new way to regulate in Virginia that essentially blocks the public and the regulated entities from due process," said Cobb.
The governor said in a statement Friday afternoon that his "administration has been and will continue to be a brick wall to protect women’s health. The regulation attacked by this lawsuit reversed rules that were aimed solely at closing health clinics and denying Virginia women access to safe and affordable care. This lawsuit is yet another attack on women and their rights."
The Virginia Department of Health says it does not comment on pending litigation.
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