Lawsuit Challenges Abortion Clinic Regulatory Process in Virginia

Posted: Updated: Apr 21, 2017 03:20 PM
Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb speaking to the press Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb speaking to the press
Victoria Cobb Victoria Cobb
Dan Carrell Dan Carrell

A lawsuit has been filed against the McAuliffe administration for the way abortion clinic regulations were rolled back in Virginia.

The Family Foundation of Virginia, an anti-abortion group, is funding the legal challenge.

The foundation’s president, Victoria Cobb, says they are getting involved due to what she believes are procedural violations and a lack of government transparency.

“They issued a document that stated that the vote had already occurred when they hadn't even held the meeting yet. Those kind of things isolate and sort of ice out the public,” Cobb said.

Court documents accuse the Democratic governor’s administration and the Board of Health of going ahead with changes to abortion clinic safety standards when it was against basic code.

The lawsuit was filed in Henrico County Circuit Court by attorney Dan Carrell, and pinpoints 22 accused violations of Virginia law.

“I've never seen an administration that has run so roughshod over procedural requirements as what we have found to be the case in this particular matter," said Carrell.

The Family Foundation of Virginia alleges the administration had political motivation to undo regulations for abortion facilities.

But some criticized those rules as being pushed by the previous Republican administration as a way to shut down those clinics.

"Every Virginian ought to be able to be in agreement that no matter where we stand on issues and various things that go through these rule-making bodies, we want them to follow the law,” Cobb said.

A spokesman released a statement by Governor Terry McAuliffe dismissing this legal challenge:

"My administration has been and will continue to be a brick wall to protect women’s health. The regulation attacked by this lawsuit reversed rules that were aimed solely at closing health clinics and denying Virginia women access to safe and affordable care. This lawsuit is yet another attack on women and their rights."