The Virginia State Board of Health has passed a new set of regulations for abortion clinics. Supporters are saying the new rules will protect women’s health and opponents believe they may force the state’s 20 clinics to close.

Regulations go into effect January 1. The set of new laws include requirements that clinics upgrade their facilities to the standards of hospitals and that they submit to government inspections. Under the new rules, clinics must have five-foot-wide hallways, eight-foot wide areas outside procedure rooms, and specific numbers of toilets, types of sinks and hospital-like air circulation and electrical wiring.

The clinics will also have to provide a parking spot for every bed.

Under the regulations, state authorities can enter a clinic to inspect at any time without notice to examine patient medical records, gather a list of current patients, and interview patients on site potentially violating both patient and provider privacy.

In total, these regulations on first-trimester abortion providers are the strictest seen to date in the nation.

Continue Reading on