Fairfax, Va. – A Fairfax clinic that performed more abortions than any other location in the state has shut its doors, and it’s unclear whether it will reopen elsewhere, according to the Washington Post.
Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate say the closure supports their arguments about the state’s new regulations on clinics that provide abortions.
NOVA Women’s Healthcare was in an office building near Interstate 66 since 2006. Antiabortion protesters stood outside the building daily, the clinic was sued twice in the past three years by its landlord, and it likely faced a need to upgrade or move after Virginia changed its regulations to require abortion providers to have hospital-grade facilities.
Abortion rights advocates have long maintained that abortion clinics are safe and that their procedures are no more invasive or dangerous than dental surgery or colonoscopies. Virginia recently passed regulations requiring abortion clinics to have wider hallways and doorways, expanded parking and entrance awnings. Supporters said the changes ensure the safety of women undergoing abortions. Opponents said the measure was a veiled attempt to shutter them.
“NOVA Women’s Healthcare provided medical services to thousands of women,” Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia said. “It was the largest abortion provider, but thousands of women also relied on them for birth control and other health care, and they went to NOVA because they could not afford care otherwise. Now they are left without their trusted health-care provider, in part due to politicians. It’s definitely a loss.”