RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
Governor McAuliffe has asked the Board of Health to review controversial abortion clinic regulations adopted last year.
This is a fight that goes back two years when the General Assembly approved hospital-like regulations for abortion clinics across the state. Last year, the board of health adopted those regulations.
Critics say the new standards would force a majority of abortion clinics to shut down. On Monday, McAuliffe ordered the board to go back and review that decision.
"I want to make sure that women view Virginia as a place to come and live and prosper," McAuliffe says. "I want every woman who is in Virginia to stay here and say that Virginia is open and welcome."
"The governor has taken the step to help right a wrong and rectify these onerous regulations," says Tarina Keene of NARAL Pro Choice Virginia.
The clinics were given two years to comply with the new standards. Since then, though two of those providers have closed their doors and workers feared that the remaining 18 were in jeopardy.
Victoria Cobb with the Family Foundation says the regulations are about women's health and calls this move strictly political - though she says she doesn't believe anything will change.
"If I was in the abortion industry and had over 300 health and safety violations from untrained staff, unsterilized bloody equipment, and I paid the governor a million dollars during his campaign, I'd want him to cover it up to," she says. "I don't think that's going to tip the balance on the board of health at this point so I'm not so convinced that this is more than him just grand standing to the abortion base."
McAuliffe says that the process will take time but he's hopeful there will be some changes made to current regulations.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond ____________________________________________