Jul 30, 2014

Wexton Campaign Sends out Intentionally Misleading Mailer on Abortion Clinic Closings

The Wexton for Senate campaign recently distributed purposely misleading mailers reading, “We’re supposed to help rape survivors. But Joe May voted to restrict the care they often need.”

The truth is, Joe May voted for requiring sensible health and safety standards for abortion clinics to ensure patient safety and well-being. SB 924 passed by the General Assembly in 2011, called for the creation, by the Board of Health, of standards for abortion clinics comparable to those applied to nursing homes, hospitals and outpatient clinics. These standards were designed to ensure infection prevention, facility and patient security, along with proper construction, maintenance, staffing and equipping of the facilities. These standards are fair and reasonable, and were designed to protect patients of all types, including rape victims.

NOVA Women’s Healthcare was closed in July 2013 under these standards. It did not meet a number of requirements, including financial stability (sued for $95,000 in back rent, as well as disrupting other businesses) and building code requirements. Financial instability is a major issue, because providing adequate patient care requires meeting staff payroll, and having adequate medicines and equipment available at key times. Building codes are necessary to reduce risk of patient harm in both daily operations and emergency situations. These are some of the operational reasons for closing the clinic, and the basic standards we expect from every healthcare facility.

It is beyond stretching the truth for Ms. Wexton to say "Joe May voted to restrict the care they (rape victims) often need." In fact, he voted to make it more likely to be available. Ms. Wexton either has a serious understanding deficit, which is unlikely - or is guilty of a gross misrepresentation.

Mary O'Brien, Leesburg

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