Friday, September 21, 2012

How Nasty and Vindictive Can the Conservatives Be – Virginia Health Board Threatened by Virginia Attorney General

If Logic and Reasoning Cannot Prevail Conservatives Will Bully

The state of Virginia has a Government dominated and controlled by Conservatives.  In order to circumvent the Constitutional right that women have to seek abortion services, the state passed restriction on clinics that would effectively put them out of business.  The restrictions, in the guise of “health care regulation” were simply a ruse.

In a rare bit of political courage the state Board of Health allowed existing clinics to be exempt. 

After one the most contentious debates of the 2011 General Assemblysession, legislators voted to regulate abortion clinics like outpatient surgical centers. State officials quickly wrote emergency regulationsdictating such things as the size of exam rooms and the storage of patient records.

In June, the Board of Health had been expected to pass permanent regulations that were substantially the same as the emergency rules. It did so, but with an amendment partially grandfathering in existing clinics.

But the Attorney General, a virulent anti-abortion rights Conservative who believes his own views circumvent those of the Constitution objected, and so the Board has now reversed itself.

Virginia’s Board of Health reversed its June ruling and decided on Friday not to exempt existing abortion clinics from strict hospital-style building codes.

So how did the Attorney General prevail?  Did he convince the Board that legally he was right.  No, because legally he is not right.  So he resorted to old fashioned threats.

The reversal came after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II wrote to board members suggesting that if they did not heed his advice against grandfathering, his office would not defend them in any resulting litigation, and that they could be personally on the hook for legal bills.

That’s right, this odious politician used his power to impose huge legal costs on a Board to force them to change.  In Conservative circles this is called acceptable.  For the rest of us the term to use is ‘extortion’.  Yes it's hard to see how principled Conservatives would condone such an action, but then the last time there was a meeting of principled Conservatives it was held in the coat closet at the local community center, with plenty of room to spare.

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