Virginia to Use Licensing Scheme to Shut Down Abortion Clinics?

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who ran on cutting unnecessary regulation, does not seem to mind singling out certain small businesses for some new, ruinously expensive red tape.

In 2011, McDonnell signed a bill directing the Board of Health to impose new licensing requirements on abortion clinics. The rules, which the Board will consider when it meets tomorrow, would force the state’s clinics to abide by 46 pages of design requirements for new hospital construction.

Existing hospitals and outpatient facilities that perform similarly invasive procedures would not have to upgrade.

To comply, clinics would have to move to new buildings or undertake costly and pointless renovations to guarantee hallways are of proper width and height, that waiting rooms have water fountains, that exam rooms have at least 80 feet of clear floor space, that new ventilation systems are installed, and that front entrances are covered. According to the bill's language:

The intent of this regulatory action is to promote and assure the safety of patients who receive first trimester abortion services… The standards are required to include those for construction and maintenance; operation, staffing and equipping; qualifications and training of staff; and infection prevention, disaster preparedness and facility security.

Moreover, the new licensing rules require that abortion providers would be forced to turn over sensitive records about patients and clinic owners to the state with no assurance that the information will be kept confidential.

So-called TRAP laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, are thinly-veiled attempts to regulate abortion out of existence—without making it illegal—by imposing cost-prohibitive rules that have no rational connection to health and safety and that do not apply to other health facilities.

Nevertheless, supporters of the new licensing rules, such as the Family Foundation, contend that state-mandated water fountains are simply reasonable measures to ensure patient health and safety. And they can make that claim with a straight face because the courts have not called them on it.

Judges are generally reluctant to scrutinize regulation once it has been deemed necessary to protect health and safety by the legislative or executive branches. This is a legacy of progressive, New Deal-era judicial philosophy that grants wide latitude to the government to regulate our lives. See occupational licensing, food restrictions and eminent domain.

As Reason’s A. Barton Hinkle argued last month, TRAP laws reveal that both sides of the aisle are happy to deploy the full arsenal of the Nanny State—they just disagree about when to do so.

In June, former intern Melanie Kruvelis described the battle over TRAP laws in Michigan.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • R C Dean||

    I think this is really illegitimate, but I can't help but point out that the vast majority of "pro-choicers" support the Total State, so have an Iron Law, on the house:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, regardless of your view on abortion, it's hilarious to see liberals desperately argue against regulations and licensing, almost as if they finally realize these things have consequences for businesses.

  • SugarFree||

    It's no more rich and creamy bowl of hypocrisy than supposedly small government conservatives using regulations on their own little project.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Not really. No conservative is arguing in good faith for these regulations based on some perceived consumer benefit to folks seeking abortions; indeed, they are using their beliefs on the stifling effects of regulation to attempt to kick the industry in the nads, as has been done to the rest of the medical industry.

  • SugarFree||

    I see liars that oppose the power of the state except when it benefits them.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Sure; it's liars all the way down in government.

    How is that responsive to my comment?

  • SugarFree||

    Just because they are lying doesn't keep them from being hypocrites. In fact, it's a perquisite.

  • WTF||

    It's hypocrites all the way down!

  • Calidissident||

    Both hypocritical, but conservatives still realize the effect these regulations have on businesses and that's why they're targeting a business they don't like with them. Liberals on the other hand, will whine about the bad effects of these regulations, and then completely forget about the effects when the subject switches to a more general topic. I'm pointing out the cognitive dissonance of the left here. Not that conservatives don't do it as well at times

  • John||

    They don't have a problem doing this kind of stuff to gun rights. When they get concerned about gun rights, I will give a shit about abortion rights.

  • R C Dean||

    I had a little fun yesterday with someone on picture IDs for voting. I asked them that, if requiring a picture ID to exercise a constitutional right was a violation of that right, were they also opposed to requiring one for buying a gun?

  • John||

    They never have an answer to that. And of course they have no problem using regulations to destroy entire industries. If this were directed at something like fracking, they would love it.

  • WTF||

    Or if 'reasonable regulations' are okay for firearms, why not for abortions?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Or if 'reasonable regulations' are okay for firearms, why not for abortions?

    Because firearms kill and abortions....um...uh....well you see it is because....because guns are icky.

  • BarryD||

    And if "reasonable regulations" means "total ban on the most common firearms and prohibitive licensing costs and time-consuming red tape for any others", then why should abortions be immune?

    What about a waiting period? Tax-funded "free" abortions available to all, no questions asked, but there's a one-year waiting or "cooling off" period.

  • SugarFree||

    I oppose both kinds of regulations. I see a lot of people shrugging at one type.

  • BarryD||

    I oppose them, also.

    I see an opportunity here, though.

  • SugarFree||

    I don't. Anti-gun types argue that guns are a special case, just like anti-abortion types argue that abortion is a special case.

    At least in abortion's case, there is a legitimate conflict of rights between the woman and the fetus. No fright-filled liberal's rights are abrogated by a third-party having a legal gun.

  • Brendan||

    Yep, these are merely 'reasonable restrictions' on the right to abortion. Just as no right is absolute, and no one has a right to yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, no one has right to get an abortion anywhere anytime for any reason.

    We need abortion registration so we know who's getting an an abortion, who's providing them in order to ensure public safety and forbid straw abortions, illicit abortion providers to enforce one abortion per year regulations.

    Public safety means we need time and place restrictions-nobody needs to get an abortion within 1000 feet of schools, arcades, libraries, youth centers, playgrounds, daycares, parks, toy stores, or other places children gather.

    We need to implement a permitting system whereby abortion providers must obtain a license to provide abortions from the local police. The local police need broad discretion in deciding who may perform abortions in their locality. Some states have a "shall issue" system of abortion provider permits; these systems are wrong and harmful to public safety because they remove police discretion from the equation.

    We're not calling for a ban on abortion, merely a few common sense regulations that protect everyone. Who could argue with sensible restrictions on the right to abortion?

  • The Derider||

    Because if securing a picture ID imposes a financial burden, it can rightly be interpreted as a poll tax, and thus is unconstitutional under the 24th amendment.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    John| 9.13.12 @ 11:30AM |#

    "When they get concerned about gun rights, I will give a shit about abortion rights."

    no you wont. and even if you do, thats a terrible way of promoting freedom. shouldnt libertarians fight for rights even if some of the other people fighting for those rights dont agree with everything else we want?


    alot of gun owners dont support drug legalization but it doesnt make me happy when tough new gun laws are passed, i dont say well i find it ironicly funny that they get a taste of their own medicine.

    the second paragraph was more directed to the people below who were giddy that liberals have to deal with regulation even though its going to restrict freedom and make things difficult for people who may not even vote for regulators.

  • ||

    And as a Pro-Lifer I have to point out the same thing to the guys making this law. It is just not the right way to go about it.

  • WTF||

    ...so have an Iron Law, on the house:

    Me today, you tomorrow.

    Yep - that was the first thing I thought of when I read the article.

  • Zeb||

    I would like to point out that the majority of pro-lifers are also supporters of the total state.

  • John||

    Really? How so? I don't see that.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I see a lot of overlap between pro-lifers and drug warriors, militarized police, illegal consensual transactions of many kinds, all kinds of surveillance, etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Just as there's a lot of overlap between MJ legalizers and supporters of single-payer or other government takeover schems for healthcare, arbitrary business regulation, trampling on property rights for the sake of "the environment," etc.

    You may as well say that certain big-government programs are popular, even among people who ought to know better.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    OK, certain big-government programs are popular, even among people who ought to know better, and there is substantial overlap between pro-lifers and supporting the total state.

    I'm not sure what that changes.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The attacks on prolifers rely largely on the "hypocrisy" meme. Of course there's also the "terrorist" meme and the "why aren't you terrorists?" meme, and the "vaginal probe" meme, but it keeps coming down to the hypocrisy accusation.

    If the people making that accusation are as hypocritical as the prolifers, isn't that meta-hypocrisy? If the people making the loudest attacks on the prolifers are statists who want to regulate everything else under the sun other than the killing of children in the womb, wouldn't a meta-hypocrisy meme be in order?

    And if the purpose of the hypocrisy meme is to avoid the need to grapple with the prolifers' actual arguments, shouldn't the meta-hypocrisy meme be an excellent excuse to ignore the accusations against prolifers?

  • Brandybuck||

    Really? How so? I don't see that.


    I'm not sure it's a majority, but it is a vast swath of them. The typical modern progressive would prohibit or regulate everything, excepting a narrow set of personal behaviors, but even those few freedoms must be funded by the state. Thus a total state.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Finally, something Republicans and Democrats can agree on.

  • sloopyinca||

    So-called TRAP laws, or Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, are thinly-veiled attempts to regulate abortion out of existence—without making it illegal—by imposing cost-prohibitive rules that have no rational connection to health and safety and that do not apply to other health facilities.

    I agree that they are thinly-veiled attempts to regulate abortion, but to say they have no rational connection to health and safety seems inaccurate since they were designed to mirror regulations at hospitals. And last time I checked, an abortion was a pretty invasive medical procedure, kinda like one performed at a hospital.

    I wish they'd just outlaw abortion altogether (allowing for morning-after pills that would eject a fertilized egg until it attached itself to the uterus) and recognize the personhood of the fetus, but if they can save some peoples' lives this way, I applaud it.

  • ||

    I agree with your last paragraph but I don't support government regulation here any more than I do hospitals.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "allowing for morning-after pills that would eject a fertilized egg until it attached itself to the uterus"

    By "allowing for" I assume you to mean "access to" which means "paid for by others"?

  • Brandybuck||

    Of course! We cannot be free unless all of our wants and desires are paid for by others! Get a dictionary and look up "free". It means "without restriction". Price tags restrict my freedom. Duh.

  • BarryD||

    "thinly-veiled attempts to regulate abortion out of existence—without making it illegal—by imposing cost-prohibitive rules that have no rational connection to health and safety"

    With any, and I do mean ANY regulation of any other business or service, the liberal commentariat adamantly denies that this is ever the case, or that regulations ever are cost-prohibitive or destroy businesses.

  • Andrew S.||

    There's absolutely no rational connection to health and safety.

    If there is, why are outpatient surgical centers grandfathered in and not required to upgrade as abortion clinics are? Many of those centers provide services far more invasive and dangerous than a first term abortion.

  • BarryD||

    Of course there's no rational connection to health and safety.

    How many regulations do have a rational connection to health or safety?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm in Apatheist's boat, but I'll concede that it's a fairly clever legislative attempt by pro-lifers, since prior arguments that upheld regulations for the medical industry would apply for this legislation.

  • BarryD||

    I'd love to see it go to SCOTUS and be overturned. That precedent would be worth a LOT to pragmatically libertarian goals.

  • Mo||

    allowing for morning-after pills that would eject a fertilized egg until it attached itself to the uterus

    That's not how they work.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    disaster preparedness and facility security.

    So, molotov cocktail resistant windows and doors?

  • sloopyinca||

    When was the last time abortion protesters threw molotov cocktails at an abortion clinic? I can't remember it ever happening.

    Now leftist union supporters doing the same at replacement workers/businesses that they are striking...that's a different story altogether.

    Sorry, but there is a hell of a lot more violence from those who protest from the left than their counterparts on the right.

  • ||

    No sure what that has to do with his comment, since I don't see anything about peaceful leftists in it.

  • SugarFree||

    January 1st, 2012 was the last firebomb. The last bombing was April 1, 2012, which started a fire.

  • sloopyinca||

    Links, please? I'd like to know more about those instances.

    /no snark

  • SugarFree||

  • sloopyinca||

    The January one has a dead WaPo link and the April one is linked to HuffPo. If you do a search on the incident, it was hardly a bombing.

    Fucking Wikipedia.

    ::shakes head::

  • The Derider||

    January 1, 2012 Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, firebombed the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida with a Molotov cocktail; the fire gutted the building

    Fucking actually reading Wikipedia
    ::shakes head::

  • The Derider||

  • sloopyinca||

    Wow! For such a heinous crime, you'd expect more than that from the google search.

    A couple of local news blurbs, a Jezzie piece and a Daily Kos hit piece. He sure sounds like the next Bill Ayers, doesn't he?

  • sloopyinca||

    Sorry, but I learned long ago to not use Wikipedia as a source, but rather to use their footnotes and actually find out what happened.

    If you blindly cite Wikipedia, then you're as stupid as you come across. PWNED!

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Moreover, the new licensing rules require that abortion providers would be forced to turn over sensitive records about patients and clinic owners to the state with no assurance that the information will be kept confidential.

    What kind of justification did they give for this? Seems to violate the hell of Dr./patient confidentiality.

  • sloopyinca||

    I do take issue with this. But it's no different than any other medical facility having to give info to the state on demand and without any assurances of privacy.

  • ||

    License review.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Do hospitals have to give this info out? What do they ask for when requesting info? It is one thing to say "how many people did you see" vs. "let me see a list of people who had procedures here."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Given the demonstrated tendency of abortion clinics to evade laws on reporting statutory rape, maybe Va would like more information to help it identify those kinds of cases. Just guessing.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, I'd like some detail on that. Any licensed health care provider can be forced to turn over records as part of any audit, investigation, or survey. Is there something special here, or is this just applying the same crap rules that the rest of us are saddled with to abortion clinics?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    RC, do you give out personal info and what procedure was done?

  • R C Dean||

    If they ask for it, they can get it. Its pretty hard to investigate a complaint, or do an audit, without getting patient records.

    The licensing requirements are so micro, and do, in fact address our medical records, so that even license surveys result in patient records being disclosed.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Thanks RC, I did not know that. I had always assumed (I know) that patient confidentiality was sacrosanct. No release without their approval.

  • R C Dean||

    The bitter joke that is the federal medical privacy regulations (HIPAA) provides absolutely no protection against 98% of the disclosures of health care records to the Total State.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    But at least it keeps those nosy spouses out of your records. So that is a plus ;-}

  • SugarFree||

    As a frequent patient, all I see that HIPAA has done for me is keep my docs from emailing me appointment time changes and test results, forcing me to spend even more time on the hated phone.

  • ||

    That's what you get for having a jerkPhone.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    This is an extremely vague and broad statement by Mr Ross, and he has an obvious axe to grind, so I wouldn't be surprised if these "sensitive records" turn out to be some harmless aggregate data.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    See RC's comment @ 11:34

    R C Dean| 9.13.12 @ 11:34AM |#

    If they ask for it, they can get it. Its pretty hard to investigate a complaint, or do an audit, without getting patient records.

    The licensing requirements are so micro, and do, in fact address our medical records, so that even license surveys result in patient records being disclosed.

    Does not sound like "harmless aggregate data" to me.

  • John Thacker||

    Yes, it's not harmless aggregate data. It does sound difficult to distinguish from what already happens with hospitals for other things, though.

    As opposed to the construction regulations, which sounds like not letting abortion clinics be grandfathered the way other existing hospitals and clinics are.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Judges are generally reluctant to scrutinize regulation once it has been deemed necessary to protect health and safety by the legislative or executive branches.

    It's right there in black and white; the Constitution's "Health and Safety Clause". Can't you read?

  • John||

    Actually, there probably is a health and safety clause in the state constitution. The state governments are not limited by the enumerated powers in the federal constitution there Brooks.

  • ||

    Even if there wasn't a specific clause, the general Police Power suffices in regards to State Government authority.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Don't worry, P. The judiciary will make an exception for abortionists. They're the honey badgers of the medical profession.

  • albo||

    Blame the ghoul in Philly, Gosnell, for TRAP. His house of horrors gave pro-lifers a pretty damn good excuse.

    The thing was, state oversight would have stopped him early on, but pro-life governors had a policy of DPW taking a benight neglect role on inspecting abortion providers. So they screwed themselves.

  • albo||

    oops. pro-choice governors, not pro-life.

  • John||

    A lot of women are maimed every year by abortionists.

  • Andrew S.||

    Citation needed. Difficulty: Citation cannot come from anti-abortion group.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Do you similarly discount "facts" from pro-choice groups?

  • John||

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximates that one woman in 100,000 dies from complications associated with first-trimester abortions. A 1997 study reported in Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, however, found maternal deaths from abortion to be grossly underreported to the CDC — probably because such reporting is entirely voluntary.

    Further, a 1994 article in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed that abortions performed at more than 16 weeks’ gestation have 15 times the risk of maternal mortality as those performed during the first trimester. The same study also showed that black women and other minorities — who have a disproportionate number of abortions when compared with white women — are also 2.5 times more likely than white women to die of an abortion.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency......rts-women/

    And if you have reason to believe these figures are wrong, prove it. Sorry but ad homonym attacks don't cut it.

  • John Thacker||

    ad homonym attacks

    This misspelling seems serendipitous.

  • The Renegade||

    I feel like this could easily be converted into an excellent joke to be used among English/Philosophy majors.

  • Mo||

    If 1 in 100,000 is a lot, then a lot more women are killed every year giving birth. The maternal death rate in the US is over 13 per 100K live births in 2006.

  • BakedPenguin||

    1 in 100,000 women, or 1 woman in 100,000 abortions?

  • albo||

    But that's no excuse to use the regulatory powers of the state to de facto put providers out of business.

  • ||

    Nice to see so many supposed civil liberty advocates and supposed libertarians shrugging over this. I guess when it comes to this, your principles go out the window just like any other partisan or TEAM member. Fucking disgusting.

  • albo||

    TRAP does to abortion rights what DC's post-Heller gun regulations do to gun rights: abridge by regulatory scheme what can't be overcome in the court.

    If you're appalled one, you should be appalled at the other.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Except "abortion rights" aren't in the Bill of Rights.

  • albo||

    Lotsa rights aren't in the Bill of Rights.

  • SugarFree||

    The only right Tulpa believes in is the right to do as you're told.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Don't compare a textually recognized and guaranteed right, like RTKBA, to one that spurted out of a Ninth Amendment inkblot test because the blackrobes felt sorry for a woman who falsely claimed she was raped.

  • ||

    Are you new here or just fucking stupid? I hate all such regulation. Seriously, are you an idiot?

  • albo||

    *quizzical dog face*

    was agreeing with and augmenting your argument.

  • ||

    Shit, I'm sorry dude, I misread what you were saying. My apologies.

  • albo||

    The idea I was trying to express is that a lot of pro-lifers are also pro-second amendment, and what DC did with regs to get a gun after Heller (almost making it impossible) appalls them as regulatory overreach.

    And now TRAP does the same, but is AWESOME AND ONLY FOR WOMEN'S PROTECTION!!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, that exposes the hypocrisy of prolifers who want to dilute our constitutional protection under the Constitution's Abortion Clause.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, Epi. This is the internet. There is no apologizing on the internet.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Suppose that you live in 17th century England, and a law requiring tedious, costly inspection of slave ships for health and sanitary reasons is being debated in parliament, with the intent being to eventually ban slavery and the slave trade in England altogether. Regardless of how one feels about that tactic, is it "hypocritical" or "appalling" to oppose general regulation of naval vessels, but to support regulation of slave ships as an intermediate step for entirely different reasons?

  • ||

    Dude, have fun rationalizing away your principles. Like I said below, you now get to be like TEAM BE RULED. I mean, they throw their principles out the window for what they think is important (defeating the other TEAM), so why can't you?

  • SugarFree||

    You have to accept a lot of unsupported axioms to make that analogy work.

    This is a frog-in-the-pot, like Omabacare. Leftists can't get full on socialized medicine because of the political fallout that will occur, so they chip around the edges to destabilize and distort the market.

    When push comes to shove, you can still get an abortion in Virginia. They've just made it harder on the margins so get people used to it being that more difficult.

    It's not a bad plan, really. Pro-lifer violence and protests drive abortions out of hospitals and then you regulate the stand-alone clinics until they can't operate. Then you go after the patient side with waiting periods, and ultra-sound wands and bullshit "informed consent" sessions that are little more than the abortion-equivalent of those gore-porn driver's ed films.

  • Virginian||

    Statists always boil the frog. It's the single most effective way to take away liberty.

  • Brendan||

    I support these kinds of shenanigans in the "let it all burn" sense.

    If we can't convince one side that their policies towards regulations are harmful, then I guess it's acceptable to turn it against them.

    If they still don't get it and still push for the same type of stifling regulations, then there's some retributive comfort in the sense that we've screwed them as much as they've screwed us.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, the problem is that you're acting like liberals, who as documented by Jonathan Haidt have trouble even understanding the arguments of the other side.

    It would be one thing to say "I disagree with prolifers and believe that abortion should be legal/is a constitutional right," etc.

    But to feign ignorance of what prolifers believe, and to say, "why are they trying to undermine abortion rights? Would they try to undermine the Second Amendment?" is to betray nearly invincible ignorance of what the other side actually believes - in other words, to act like a liberal.

    Prolifers believe that abortion should be made illegal, like slavery, and just as the antislavery people started with regulations on the Middle Passage and bans on the African slave trade, the prolifers are working on bans of the various practices associated with abortion, as part of a long term plan which ends up in banning abortion altogether.

    There's a difference between (a) "I hate those prolifers because they want to ban abortion" - that at least is honest. But to say (b) "I hate those prolifers because I equate their regulations of abortion with gun control or bans on food trucks," is at best question-begging.

  • Brendan||

    Excellent point. I had a much longer response, but it got eaten.

    Suffice to say that I agree with the idea of nonnegotiation if they believe it's murder. If it is murder, it would make no sense to compromise.

    I think a lot of them use abortion=murder as a way to ban abortion because they believe abortion enables "carefree" or "consequence free" sex, the real they want curtailed. I attribute this to them because of the heavy overlap between so-called pro-lifers an those who rail against pornography, strip clubs, birth control, sex education, etc.

    It would be a stretch to claim that they oppose all of that because it leads/may lead to more 'recreational' :) sex which leads/may lead to more unwanted pregnancies which could result in more abortions. The attenuation necessary makes it less then credible.

    As for gun control, a lot of gun control supporters seem to truly believe that firearms in the hands of private citizens are a threat to safety, enabler of death/destruction.
    They chooose use regulations in an (IMO) underhanded way to achieve their (less often lately) stated goals.

    It's amusing to watch them feign offense at having their own tricks turned against them.

    Whether it's right or wrong to use regulations/licensing this way would depend on whether they truly believe that gun control/abortion is a true threat to safety, equates to murder, etc.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Suffice to say that I agree with the idea of nonnegotiation if they believe it's murder. If it is murder, it would make no sense to compromise."

    The point of this Virginia stuff is that the prolifers are, if not exactly compromising, at least working incrementally and taking advantage of shared premises.

    "The courts will strike down a flat ban on abortion? They won't let us protect the personhood of the unborn fetus? OK, then, let's start with the safety of the woman seeking the abortion, and the enforcement of existing (and supposedly noncontroversial) laws against statutory rape. As public enlightenment advances and the courts butt out of this area, we can move toward explicit protections for the unborn child, but meanwhile let's save as many as we can."

    I think it's possible for a person to sincerely believe in the right to life of the unborn and in the desirability of confining sex to marriage, without cartoonishly saying that one stance is a pretext for the other. Prolifers have shown many examples of a willingness to block abortions sought by married women, so it would be quite simplistic to say they merely want to take the fun out of extramarital sex.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And the fact that many prolifers tackle the emotionally delicate and politically-dangerous subject of rape exceptions shows that they are willing to defend human life even in the most controversial of situations.

    Prochoicers are trying to bait the prolifers who dare to defend the rights of kids conceived in rape. Obviously, the choicers know that the prolifers aren't trying to ban abortions for sexually loose women only. That's a choicer preoccupation with all their talk about rape exceptions. It's the choicers, interestingly enough, who want to focus our attention on the injured virtue of rape victims, as if it was proper to kill the innocent child instead of the rapist.

    Are the choicers puritans?

  • John Thacker||

    Where? I don't see so many doing so in the comments here.

  • John Thacker||

    You know, other than Tulpa.

  • WTF||

    Actually, I think most of us agree that this kind of regulation is wrong - but it's also kind of entertaining to see the left hoist by their own petard.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, we're human. Well, most of us are.

    It's just really hard not to appreciate the rich and creamy irony of leftwing ideologues arguing that regulations impose an undue burden that will push small businesses into bankruptcy. It's also really funny watching them argue that "safe", for the first time ever, does not mean heavy governmental oversight. Sorry, the schadenfreude potential of this story just hits the upper limits of the possible.

    As for the other side, it's not hypocrisy so much as cynicism. They get to put abortion clinics out of business all the while saying "But but but you all said that we needed more government oversight in healthcare, more regulations to protect the people. This is what you wanted right?"

  • ||

    Ah, I see. "I drop my principles because I appreciate the irony."

    Good for you, you are now the equivalent of TEAM BE RULED. I hope you're happy.

  • Virginian||

    Calm down there skippy. I didn't say I supported it. But I prefer to use it as a teachable moment for all the TEAM BLUE tards I know, explaining how this is what they want, this is what they vote for. If you give the State the power, they're going to use it for things you don't like at some point or another.

  • Zeb||

    Word. If you are opposed to abortion because you think it is the same a murder, I can understand that, even though I disagree quite firmly. But to try to kill it through needlessly burdensome regulations 1. will not work and 2. is a very unlibertarian way to go about things.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    How is it unlibertarian to use coercion to prevent a murder?

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you try to be a retard or does it come naturally?

  • albo||

    Because you beg the question of "murder." We're not all on board with the definition.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Zeb was talking about people who DO believe it is murder.

  • ZackTheHypochondriac||

    i agree epi, i read the comments much more often than i comment myself but i always get a right leaning libertarian vibe on here.

    john even said this

    John| 9.13.12 @ 11:30AM |#

    "When they get concerned about gun rights, I will give a shit about abortion rights."

    something about that sentence just made me angry enough to log on for once.

  • RPR2||

    46 pages of rules on the design of a hospital is nothing. Sounds like they are completely unregulated in the modern meaning of the word. I recently got a thousand pages of rules and instructions for a 3 page form. enjoy your regulatory sandwich.

  • John Thacker||

    If I understand this article, Virginia has various restrictions (many probably not warranted) on new hospital and clinic construction but, as is typical, grandfathered in existing hospitals and clinics. The change is to remove the grandfathering of abortion clinics, but not other hospitals and clinics, and make the existing ones renovate to meet the requirements for new clinics.

    Pretty devastating move. I suspect that a lot of the supporters of abortion rights voted for the original new construction regulations, and didn't see this coming.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Would you also oppose burdensome local regulations on the privately run ammunition factories in Nazi Germany using slave labor, as a thinly-veiled attempt to regulate the Final Solution out of existence?

  • ||

    So Tulpa, when you go into FULL RETARD mode, do you, like, go into a retarded phone booth and change, or turn retard green or something? Does it hurt?

    This is solely a scientific question, of course. I am currently studying supertards and you're first on my list.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    One day they're going to regulate glibness out of existence, and I'll be there to laugh at your oblivion.

  • ||

    Tulpa, please answer the question. I want to write my white paper soon.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    I hereby nullify your question. How bout them appples?

  • ||

    Tulpa, being retarded only nullifies your reputation. It's really not productive.

  • sarcasmic||

    You wouldn't like Tulpa when he's angry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9rmeLR7sRI

  • WTF||

    Wow.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Treating abortionists like interior designers is just as "wow". Ross betrays no knowledge that anyone has reasons to treat abortion as anything other than a wholesome, legal activity.

  • BarryD||

    You forgot "fun".

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Would you also oppose burdensome local regulations on the privately run ammunition factories in Nazi Germany using slave labor, as a thinly-veiled attempt to regulate the Final Solution out of existence?

    To give you a serious answer to a ridiculous question:

    I would not oppose any regulation that ended slave labor; as slave labor violates the individuals right to self-ownership. I would also oppose the Final Solution as it ALSO violates an individuals right to life.

    Would I oppose regulation on privately run ammunition factories in Nazi Germany using paid labor; yes. I would still oppose the Final Solution.

    The Non-aggression Principle is not hard to understand. As long as someones rights are not being infringed, you have no cause to instigate force against that person.

  • sarcasmic||

    The Non-aggression Principle is not hard to understand. As long as someones rights are not being infringed, you have no cause to instigate force against that person.

    If you are unable to use persuasion to get what you want, then the only option left is force. The problem is that government has the monopoly on the initiation of force.
    There is a solution to this: Create laws that empower government to initiate force on your behalf. This way you can get what you want without having to use force yourself, or going through the bother of persuading people.
    Theft by proxy! It's so much easier than being a libertarian.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If the Nazis contracted with a private company to send supplies to the front, there is no cause to instigate force against that company or its employees?

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    If the Nazis contracted with a private company to send supplies to the front, there is no cause to instigate force against that company or its employees?

    NEM, yes. You could use force because they are proceding with the Final Solution. You are not instigating force against them, they have initiated force against a population. You are therefore free to respond with force.

    This is why I said I would not endorse regs against an arms manufacturer, but would against the Final Solution.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, no. All this company is doing is driving trucks with food and supplies in them. This company isn't fighting or killing people at all.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    No, no. All this company is doing is driving trucks with food and supplies in them. This company isn't fighting or killing people at all.

    You are correct. I should be more careful in my comments. You would have the right to respond with force to the people doing the killing, not the company or their employees.

    Also, and this could get really drawn out (which is why I am an idiot for even responding) because you have three distict issues here: private company making a product, slave labor, and a final solution.

    I do not support regs that would put the company out of business for making a product.

    I support regs, and armed response if necessary, against slavery.

    I support regs, and armed response if necessary, against the final solution.

    The NAP says you do not initiate violence; but you are free to respond to violence.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Actually, the more I consider your question, are you saying the company is directly contributing to the final solution? If so, then yes, you would be allowed to use force to stop the delivery of the product to the place where the final solution is being carried out.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    fscking squirrels

    But you would not be free to use force for "regular deliveries" not supporting the solution. Convoluted, yes, but so is life.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yes, what I was getting at with my question is that delivery of food and supplies to the soldiers is directly contributing the Final Solution, or the war of aggression, or whatever.

    I agree that you should be allowed to use force to stop these deliveries. Additionally, since it isn't practical to distinguish between bullets being made for German citizens and bullets being made for German soldiers, I think you should be allowed to use force to stop production of the ammunition factories, as well. I think we could get from there to the conclusion that it is allowed to use regulations to prevent production at those factories, so I disagree with you on that bit.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Additionally, since it isn't practical to distinguish between bullets being made for German citizens and bullets being made for German soldiers, I think you should be allowed to use force to stop production of the ammunition factories, as well. I think we could get from there to the conclusion that it is allowed to use regulations to prevent production at those factories, so I disagree with you on that bit.

    This is the problem with dual-use technology. As I said, it can get complicated quick. You do not know who is getting the product. You could expand it to almost anything, medicines, textiles, chemicals, etc. that can be used for good or harm. That is why I think you should focus on the harm and stop that, with force if necessary.

    Can and should you confront the company for selling products that are also doing harm, sure. But I do not think you can instigage force against them. Think of handgun manufacturers in this country; their product can do harm or good, but you cannot distingish which until it is in the hands of the final user.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    instagage = instigate

  • R C Dean||

    Let's not overlook how utterly absurd it is to apply hospital level regulation to an office or, at most, ambulatory surgery, procedure.

    This is like requiring your car to meet FAA requirements for airliners.

    Although I suspect 60 pages is only a fraction of what hospitals are subjected to.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement