New Va. abortion clinic regulations to be unveiled

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Health is set to unveil a first draft of abortion clinic regulations mandated by the General Assembly.

The department is expected to release the temporary emergency regulations Friday. The State Board of Health will vote on the regulations Sept. 15, and they will remain in place while permanent ones are drafted under the state's normal regulatory process.

The General Assembly last winter passed legislation requiring that all clinics performing at least five first-trimester abortions per month be regulated like hospitals. Supporters of the regulations say the goal is ensuring safety.

Opponents argue that abortion opponents and elected officials who have pushed for the regulations are trying to put clinics out of business.