- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When is the abortion lobby going to wake up and realize that they can’t have it both ways (“Pro-choice advocates say rules politically motivated,” Web, Sunday)?

Last year, they were advocating for abortion to be an essential part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Now they are criticizing draft regulations issued by the Virginia Department of Health that comply with the recently enacted legislation that requires regulation of abortion facilities. Either abortion is part of health care or it isn’t. If it is, then those who own and operate facilities that provide abortion services should be regulated just like any other medical facility in Virginia.

During the debate over PPACA, both Planned Parenthood the and National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) advocated that abortion should be foundational to women’s health care. Now in Virginia, when a pro-woman legislature deems it essential for women who desire to have an abortion to do so in a properly licensed medical facility, these same organizations are crying foul. Their complaint? The clinics are being singled out and the new regulations “go beyond any existing regulations.”

It’s time for a reality check. An abortion is a very serious procedure, and facilities where they are performed should be subject to the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities. Women undergoing such procedures need specialized care and treatment. It is not the same as a blood pressure check. Unfortunately, abortion facilities in Virginia have not been regulated and in several cases did not even meet the standards of a veterinary clinic.

Women deserve better than animals. They deserve proper medical, safety and sanitary conditions. For Planned Parenthood and NARAL, regulation of abortion facilities is one of the unintended consequencesof PPACA. They can’t have it both ways.

GERRI LAIRD

Lorton