FAIRFAX — An abortion facility in Virginia that performed over 3,000 abortions a year has closed its doors after being unable to comply with new regulations in the Commonwealth.
NOVA Women’s Healthcare of Fairfax County, which opened in 2006, has decided to call it quits as it reportedly cannot comport with mandates that it meet architectural and quality standards similar to ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals. The state approved the new law in 2012, which was then passed on to the state Department of Health to craft specific regulations. Among the mandates included ample parking, wide passageways and the presence of janitor’s closets.
“We are extremely pleased that the Board of Health saw fit to ensure safety standards for the women of Virginia who enter these clinics,” Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation of Virginia told the New York Times earlier this year.
However, abortion facilities in the state complained that the government was underhandedly regulating them out of business.
“We’re being targeted because there is a political difference of opinion about what a woman deserves for her health care,” Rosemary Codding of the Falls Church Healthcare Center told the publication, which cited that the facility performed approximately 1,200 abortions a year.
In March, NOVA Women’s Healthcare filed a permit application to move its facility to another building, but it was denied in May after officials stated that the location would not provide ample parking. Representatives have so far decided not to file for an alternate location, and at press time, it was uncertain as to whether the facility would remain permanently closed. Just this Tuesday, the Fairfax City Council passed a resolution requiring that all permits go through the council.
The Washington Post reports that NOVA Women’s Healthcare was slammed with two lawsuits within the past three years, and pro-life residents often gathered outside of the facility to speak against its practices.
“[The facility] was trying to relocate because they couldn’t stay where they were, because of the new regulations,” Alena Yarmosky of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia told the publication. “The fact they were forced to move, that’s a testament to the barriers these providers face.”
Reaction to word of the closing has been mixed.
“Another murder mill bites the dust,” one commenter wrote. “Good!”
“Biblemania and the GOP’s continued war on women,” another stated. “[W]hat about the big cigarette companies in Richmond? They kill exponentially more Virginians every year than there are abortions.”
“So, rather than being able to cover up their recklessness and selfish acts of abortion by going down to the neighborhood butcher shop, a woman must now find a facility which could actually take care of them if an actual emergency occurred,” wrote a third. “With what the federal government pays these ‘chop shops’ to provide the most popular form of birth control in America, one would think they could afford to do it in a facility with higher standards than a fast food restaurant. Follow the money folks, these abortion mills are not about women’s health; it’s about lining their pockets.”
A number of states across the country have passed similar legislation, including Pennsylvania, Kansas, Texas and Indiana, and many believe that the legislation will result in the closing of a number of abortion facilities who cannot afford upgrades.