The busiest abortion clinic in Virginia has closed as a result of the increasingly stringent regulations imposed on such facilities in the state, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
NOVA Women’s Healthcare performed more abortions than any other clinic in the state and operated out of an office building in Fairfax County in Northern Viriginia. The building was constantly swarmed by anti-abortion protestors and the clinic had been sued twice in the past three years by its landlord. It likely would have need to move or upgrade its facility because the state recently passed new rules requiring clinics to feature hospital-like facilities.
The clinic found a potential new location in March and had applied for a nonresidential permit to retrofit the space in the new building, according to the Post. But the permit was denied because officials said there was not adequate parking. NOVA Women’s Healthcare opted not to seek a special exception to the parking rules from the city council.
But the Fairfax City Council learned of the clinic’s plans to relocate and on Tuesday the council amended its zoning law to require that all clinics be called medical care facilities and subsequently obtain a special-use permit and approval from the council.
A woman who answered the phone at the clinic told the Post it was closed.
“[The clinic] was trying to relocate because they couldn’t stay where they were, because of the new regulations. . . . The fact they were forced to move, that’s a testament to the barriers these providers face,” Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told the Post.