By Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia’s Board of Health has voted to scale back strict building codes and other rules governing the state’s abortion clinics.

Monday’s vote reversed regulations enacted under former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell. They required facilities to follow hospital-like outpatient standards and other rules. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down similar regulations in Texas in June.

Abortion rights groups such as Progress VA hailed the Virginia board’s vote. They said the rules were designed to shutter clinics through cost-prohibitive renovations and had contributed to the closure of some facilities. But anti-abortion groups such as the Family Foundation lamented the reversal, saying the rules were meant to better protect women’s health.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe had ordered the board to revisit the regulations. His appointees now hold a majority on the 15-member panel.

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