The proposed abortion-clinic regulations released by the Virginia Department of Health last week have generated considerable concern among supporters of legal abortion. These regulations would qualify abortion clinics as hospitals and subject them to the same staffing, construction, and equipment regulations. Groups supporting abortion rights have argued that these new regulations would result in the closure of 17 of Virginia’s 21 abortion clinics
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media is doing the bidding of the abortion industry. They are emphasizing that the new rules could impose seemingly arbitrary regulations on room sizes and the number of available sinks. However, the mainstream media is failing to report that abortion clinics currently face regulations similar to those faced by cosmetic- and oral-surgery centers. In reality, abortion is more invasive and poses greater health risks than the procedures performed by these outpatient clinics. Furthermore, these new regulations include a number of commonsense rules, including requirements that a doctor stay on the premises until a woman is ready to be discharged, The new regulations also call for improved sanitary conditions and the presence of emergency equipment in cases of cardiac arrest.
Supporters of legal abortion inevitably oppose even the mildest regulation of abortion clinics. One questions the wisdom of this approach. In light of the gruesome conditions found in Kermit Gosnell’s Philadelphia abortion clinic and misconduct captured in videos released by LiveAction Films, one would think that supporters of legal abortion would want to do some damage control and visibly support some regulations that would improve the conditions of abortion clinics. Unfortunately, they have been all but silent on this issue.
— Michael New is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan – Dearborn and a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.