NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
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NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Applauds AG Herring’s Opinion on Abortion Restrictions

Newly-released opinion corrects ideologically-driven advice of former-AG Ken Cuccinelli; exempts existing health centers from medically-inappropriate

Richmond, VA – This morning, Attorney General Mark Herring issued a formal legal opinion exempting currently existing women’s health centers from burdensome and medically-inappropriate architectural restrictions. The opinion reverses incorrect advice given to the Virginia Board of Health in 2012 by then-Attorney General Cuccinelli, who defied legal precedent in stating that the Board must apply new design and construction standards to pre-existing facilities. These design and construction standards are the most burdensome and medically-unnecessary of statewide targeted regulations on abortion providers (also known as TRAP restrictions) that are responsible for the closure of two of Virginia women’s health centers.

Attorney General Herring’s opinion comes only a few weeks before the Board of Health’s June 4th meeting, when they are scheduled to vote on specific amendments to current restrictions. The restrictions are currently undergoing a periodic review initiated by Governor McAuliffe in spring of 2014, who promised during his gubernatorial campaign against Cuccinelli to be a "brick wall” in attacks on Virginia women’s health and rights.

"It is has been abundantly clear for years that former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli gave incorrect – and frankly fictional – legal advice to the Board of Health, all with the goal of closing Virginia women’s health centers and restricting access to safe, legal abortion,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. "Attorney General Herring’s opinion today is a critical step towards restoring integrity in the regulatory process and ensuring that the Commonwealth’s remaining women’s health centers can remain open and accessible for the women they serve.”


Contact: Alena Yarmosky,, (240-595-2972)

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