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Virginia Bishops’ Statement on Governor’s Order to Review Abortion Center Regulations

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington

May 16, 2014
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, VA and Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, VA issued the following statement:

Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that he has ordered the Virginia Board of Health to review the abortion clinic health and safety regulations that were adopted last year to protect pregnant women.

In his statement at the state Capitol this morning, the Governor maintained, “This is not just a health issue – it’s an economic issue.  In order to grow and diversify our economy, Virginia needs to be open and welcoming to all, and we need to ensure that all Virginia women have access to the health care resources they need.”

Abortion is not health care because it does not save lives; it ends them. However, since abortion operates under the guise of health care in this country, the abortion industry must be properly regulated for the safety of women.  Previous inspections have revealed hundreds of safety violations at clinics throughout the state, including one clinic that performed abortions on two young teenage girls without their parents’ consent.  The regulations adopted last year are not “extreme and punitive”, as the Governor asserts.  Moreover, we are very troubled by the suggestion that Virginia’s current safety protections for women are somehow inconsistent with being “open and welcoming to all” or with having a strong economy. While we hear that these regulations are onerous and expensive, we believe all women deserve nothing less. Regardless of the cost to abortion centers to implement these regulations, women’s safety should be of paramount importance.

We will continue to work to ensure that when women tragically turn to abortion centers they don’t also jeopardize their own lives.  As Virginia’s Catholic bishops, whose faith centers on the dignity of all human life, we urge the governor to ensure that this review focuses on the paramount importance of Virginia women’s health and safety.


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