By Julian Pecquet - 12/30/11 04:39 PM EST
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is denouncing new restrictions on abortion providers that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) signed Thursday.
"Make no mistake," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement, "Governor McDonnell's excessive regulations are based on his political agenda, not on medical necessity. This is an attempt to shut down all abortion providers in the state in a backdoor attempt to ban abortion."
Virginia's conservative legislature passed legislation last winter that requires abortion clinics to be regulated like ambulatory surgery centers instead of doctor's offices. The legislation requires temporary "emergency" regulations to be in place by year's end before final regulations are approved.
Planned Parenthood says the regulations are too onerous and would force most abortion providers to shut their doors, causing women to lose access to breast and cervical cancer screening, STD prevention and treatments and birth control services that are often offered at the clinics.
"These regulations are a product of an amendment that passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support," McDonnell's office said in a statement. "The governor believes these common-sense regulations will help ensure that this procedure takes place in facilities that are modern, safe and well-regulated, in order to help ensure the safety and well-being of all patients."