Analyst questions if Va. health commissioner’s resignation was strategic

Posted at 12:24 AM, Oct 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-19 00:24:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--“I can`t imagine what kind of pressure Dr. Remley has had to endure this past year,” said pro-choice advocate Shelly Abrams, owner of A Capital Women’s Health Clinic.

She says she wasn’t shocked to learn that Dr. Karen Remley, Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Health stepped down from her post.

Remley recently dealt with the state’s controversial abortion clinic regulations that sparked protest among pro-choice advocates. The regulations require abortion clinics to adhere to the same standards as hospitals.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli certified the new rules last month.

In a letter to colleagues, Remley says the regulations “create an environment in which my ability to fulfill my duties is compromised, and in good faith I can no longer serve in my role”.

“She’s basically saying she’s  not allowed to do her job the way she sees fit. I’m  only guessing, but I imagine she’s referring to the intrusion of the attorney general`s office,” said Abrams.

“I don’t agree with that,” said Don Blake, President and Chairman of the Virginia Christian Alliance.

He says if what Abrams says were true, pro-life Governor Bob McDonnell would have never reappointed Remley. Remley was originally appointed by democratic Governor Tim Kaine.

“I think that speaks clearly for her that Governor McDonnell thought enough of her to reappoint her. That she would enforce the regulations and maintain  her duty,” he said.

CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth says the timing of Remley’s resignation is fascinating.

“Your  health commissioner resigns the night of the final debate between Tim Kaine and George Allen (both vying for the senate seat), and in the middle of a national controversy about abortion healthcare and women`s rights,” he said.