Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) issued the following statement today regarding the passage of Senate Bill 924 by the State Senate.
Senate Bill 924 was patroned by Senator Ryan McDougle (R-Hanover) and will require the Board of Health to promulgate regulations containing minimum standards for policies related to infection prevention, disaster prevention, disaster preparedness, and facility security of hospitals, nursing homes, and certified nursing facilities. This bill was amended by Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Campbell) with language that would classify facilities that perform more than five abortions per year as hospitals, and therefore subjects these clinics to this type of regulation.
“I would like to commend the Virginia State Senate for its passage of Senate Bill 924 today, and especially Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling for casting the tie-breaking vote. I would also like to thank Delegate Byron for putting this language into the legislation, so that this could go before the full Senate. I’ve always been confident that this legislation could pass if given the chance for a vote on the Senate floor.”
“This is a very important issue to me, and that is why I filed House Bill 1428 this Session. I believe this legislation is vital to ensuring the health and safety of women across the Commonwealth. This legislation protects women by ensuring that the facilities that perform abortions are properly equipped and safe to perform this invasive procedure. Regular inspections should not inhibit the operations of the clinic, assuming the clinic is in compliance with basic regulations.”
“I am grateful that this legislation has finally gained bipartisan support, and I believe this is a great first step in ensuring the safety of women in the Commonwealth.”
This year Delegate Bell carried similar legislation, House Bill 1428. This bill requires all abortion clinics to be licensed and regulated by the Board of Health. House Bill 1428 passed in the House of Delegates with bipartisan support, but was passed by indefinitely in the Senate Committee on Education and Health.
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and the City of Staunton.