Herring: Abortion Clinics Can be Exempted from New Standards


RICHMOND, Va. — New, strict building standards should not be applied retroactively to existing abortion clinics, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Monday in an opinion contradicting advice given by his Republican predecessor.

The new standards would treat abortion clinics like hospitals and cover issues such as hallway widths, closet sizes and covered entrances. Staff for former Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told state health officials during his tenure that abortion clinics must abide by the new rules. Herring now says that was bad advice and would essentially shut down abortion services in the state.

“The previous administration provided incorrect legal advice to the Board of Health and intervened in a process that is supposed to be driven by medical professionals,” Herring, a Democrat, said in a written statement. “That inappropriate intrusion produced regulations that would impose a de facto abortion ban in Virginia by forcing many health care facilities…

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