Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) has certified the state Board of Health’s decision to impose strict, hospital-style building standards on existing abortion clinics.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (Steve Helber/AP)

The health department adopted the regulations at its Sept. 14 meeting, reversing a June decision to grandfather in existing clinics. Cuccinelli warned board members against such a move, saying they could be held personally liable for legal fees if they were sued.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the agency, Cuccinelli said the proposed regulations are constitutional and do not conflict with existing federal or state laws.

If Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) approves the regulations, they will be available for a 60-day public comment period before returning to the health department for final consideration — a process that could stretch into next year.

Some of the state’s 20 abortion clinics have said they cannot afford to make the costly renovations needed to comply with the new architectural standards.