RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — New abortion clinic regulations are back before the Virginia Board of Health.

The board is scheduled to vote Friday on permanent regulations that are substantially the same as emergency regulations that have been in effect since Jan. 1.

The General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 requiring most abortion clinics to meet the same strict building standards as new hospital construction. Proponents say the regulations are intended to protect women’s health, but critics say the real aim is to reduce access to abortions by driving up costs or putting clinics out of business.

Only one board member voted against the emergency regulations last September. Tarina Keene of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia says opponents have made a compelling case against the regulations, so she’s hoping more board members will vote “no” this time.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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