Target: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
Goal: Protect Virginia’s abortion clinics from unnecessary closure
Due to recent changes in the law regarding medical facilities, the Virginia Board of Health was forced to make the decision to shut down all of its 20 abortion clinics. Though it was the Board of Health that voted on the decision, the vote was the product of unrelenting pressure from Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli. Although the laws appear on the surface to be in regards to bettering state medical facilities, in reality they were simply meant to put a clamp down on abortion clinics.
The regulations, which regard hallway widths, building entrances, and ventilation have absolutely nothing to do with medical law and really only affect the creation of new hospitals and medical facilities. No other medical facilities in Virginia were affected by these law changes—they only target the state’s abortion clinics. The Board of Health actually voted in favor of an amendment that would grandfather in existing clinics, exempting them from this law. Cuccinelli personally refused to sign off on the amendment, claiming the Board had acted outside of its authority.
This represents a major attack on women’s health and reproductive rights. The access to good, safe, and affordable sexual healthcare is of paramount importance. The closure of clinics will not lead to anything positive; it will however, lead to an increase in unwanted pregnancies, teen pregnancies, dropout rates, welfare dependency, and all of the other ill effects that are seen when women are not allowed to have agency over their own bodies. Additionally, this sets an awful precedent for the state. If people are denied access to abortion clinics how long is it until they are denied access to contraceptives?
Although none of Virginia’s clinics intend to close, they face a long, litigious, and expensive road ahead. Show your support for Virginia’s abortion clinics by signing the petition below.
Dear Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli,
Recently a series of laws were passed in Virginia regarding the physical wellbeing of your state’s medical facilities. Items covered in the law included ventilation systems, hallway widths, and covered entrances. These new laws were intended for the construction of new facilities but they were used to retroactively clamp down on abortion clinics. No other healthcare facilities were affected by these new laws; they were simply used as a means of trapping abortion clinics and forcing the Board of Health to vote to shut them down. This is a blow against women and civil rights that must not be allowed to stand.
As it stands Virginia is home to 20 abortion clinics. These facilities help keep women safe, providing affordable and confidential contraceptives, STD screenings, and healthcare, not just abortions. Closing down these clinics could only have negative effects on the state of Virginia. Increases in welfare dependency, dropout rates, teen pregnancy, unwanted children, and everything that comes with all that would be certain. This would certainly be greater drain on the state of Virginia than allowing the clinics to keep functioning. Moreover, think about the precedent this sets. Soon schools will cut sex-ed from their curriculums, leaving more young people to learn lessons the hard way. What if people can no longer have access to reliable contraceptives? The problems manifested by closing the clinics would only be amplified.
It is important that you allow Virginia’s clinics to remain unmolested. It is important that you allow Virginia’s women to be in charge of their own bodies and lives. Closing down the clinics can only hurt the state–and remember, the fact that you do not endorse abortion does not mean that it is what is right for the entirety of the state. The path that you and the state of Virginia will go down if you continue to enforce these laws will only prove to be long, controversial, litigious, and costly. Please consider overturning the law and thinking about the welfare of your citizens.
[Your Name Here]
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