VIRGINIA ATTORNEY General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) was instrumental in ensuring that new regulations will result in the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics. Two of the busiest, in Northern Virginia and Norfolk, already have closed. If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.
That would make access to abortion, as well as to family planning advice, difficult for thousands of Virginia women, particularly in rural areas; in some cases, it would become practically impossible. It would also represent a capstone in the Republican campaign in Richmond to limit abortion, despite Supreme Court rulings protecting it.
Aides to Mr. Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, believe the next governor could move unilaterally to protect existing abortion clinics. He could do so by instructing the health commissioner to grant waivers to individual clinics or, possibly, by urging that existing clinics be exempted from the regulations.