March 13, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Abortion-rights supporters are making one final attempt to derail strict new regulations that they claim would force most of Virginia's 20 abortion clinics to close.
The Virginia Board of Health is scheduled to take a final vote on the regulations Friday after another round of public comment. A large group of abortion-rights activists is expected to urge the board to reject the regulations, which would require new and existing clinics to meet strict new-hospital construction standards.
Critics say the regulations are intended to put clinics out of business by requiring renovations that they cannot afford. Supporters of the regulations say the aim is to protect women's health.
The board already has given preliminary approval to the regulations, which took effect on an emergency basis on Jan. 1, 2012.