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Cuccinelli: Law allows closer regulation of abortion clinics

Virginia could tighten regulations on clinics providing first trimester abortions according to an opinion released Monday from state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

Reviewing Virginia’s health regulatory scheme and a 2000 opinion from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Cuccinelli said regulations addressing medical and safety aspects of providing abortions, as well as record keeping and administrative practices, would be permissible as long as they do not interfere with the woman’s status as the ultimate decisionmaker.

Cuccinelli’s opinion comes in response to inquiries from two state lawmakers, Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) and Sen. Ralph Smith (R-Roanoke).

An abortion rights supporter quoted in published reports claimed the AG’s opinion was an effort to circumvent the General Assembly’s rejection of bills to increase restrictions on outpatient abortion clinics.

By Peter Vieth

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