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Virginia Board Votes To Tighten Abortion Clinic Standards

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The Virginia Board of Health has given final approval to strict new regulations that abortion-rights supporters claim would force most of Virginia's 20 abortion clinics to close.

After Friday's 11-2 vote, some opponents of the regulations shouted "shame" and "blood on your hands" as they left the room, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier, the board heard from about 30 people on both sides of the issue. The regulations would require new and existing clinics to meet strict new-hospital building standards.

Critics argued that the regulations are medically unnecessary and are intended to reduce access to abortions. Supporters countered that the regulations are intended to protect women's health.

The board already has given preliminary approval to the regulations, which took effect on an emergency basis on Jan. 1, 2012.

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