Virginia Health Board Approves Regulations on Abortion Clinics

The Virginia Board of Health has approved abortion clinic regulations that supporters say will protect women's health and opponents say will force many clinics to close.

The board voted 12-1 Thursday to pass the temporary regulations, which will remain in effect while permanent regulations are developed.

James Edmondson, the only member voting against the regulations, offered a series of unsuccessful amendments aimed at relaxing the draft regulations, especially for existing abortion clinics. He said afterward that he believes the regulations as written would put some clinics out of business.

The board spent three hours discussing the regulations after a 90-minute public hearing in which 32 people spoke, about two-thirds of them in opposition.

The General Assembly passed legislation last winter requiring the board to adopt strict abortion clinic regulations.