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      Va. Health Dept. releases proposed permanent abortion clinic regs

      RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Health Department has released its proposed permanent regulations governing abortion clinics.

      Emergency regulations have been in effect since Jan. 1. The State Board of Health will vote on the permanent regulations June 15.

      Erik Bodin of the health department's Office of Licensure and Certification said Friday in a memo to the state board that the proposed permanent regulations are very similar to the emergency regulations.

      He said some changes were made to conform to recent amendments to the informed consent abortion law, and to ensure that clinic employees who are legally mandated to report suspected child abuse comply with those requirements.

      Abortion-rights supporters continue to oppose the regulations, which they say would impose architectural and other building-code requirements that could put many clinics out of business.