Virgina Abortion Clinics Shut Down, But Maryland Preserves Abortion Rights

Editor's Note: With 40 days left until the presidential election, PolicyMic's Audrey Farber will be posting a daily update on the state of abortion rights in the U.S., covering legislative challenges to Roe v. Wade in all 50 states. So far, we've gotten updates on Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, VermontMassachusetts, Rhode IslandMaine and New Hampshire. Check back in every day to keep track!

Two weeks ago, Virginia's Board of Health effectively shut down existing abortion clinics in the state, reversing its June decision regarding whether or not hospital-style regulations should be applied to the clinics. A protestor outside the meeting commented, "You talk about the Arab Spring. Well, we’ve got the same thing going on here.”

While politicians deny that their personal beliefs have anything to with the decision, a peek into the state of abortion rights in Virginia reveals a different picture, especially when contrasted with neighboring Maryland.

Maryland

In addition to the building restrictions, there was: the bill that died in the State Senate “that would have prevented poor women whose fetuses have gross mental and physical abnormalities from using state funds for abortions”; the dead-in-the-Senate personhood bill; the transvaginal ultrasound bill which passed even the evenly-split State Senate but was signed by Republican Governor McDonnell only after being amended to require abdominal ultrasounds due to an outpouring of protests; a ban on partial-birth abortion; and the addition in 2009 of a “Choose Life” license plate.

Cuccinelli is a bully: a March 2012 Quinnipiac University poll tells us that voters in Virginia disagree 52 - 41 with the ultrasound law, and 72% of Virginia voters say “government should not make laws which try to convince women seeking an abortion to change their minds.” Wow. What happened to democracy?