Two Virginia congressmen plan to call on Gov. Bob McDonnell Wednesday morning to reject new regulations on abortion clinics.

Rep. Jim Moran (D) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D) are scheduled to sign a petition that asks McDonnell to scrap the rules, which are considered some of the toughest in the nation. They will be joined at the petition-signing by the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health.

Abortion-clinic operators say the regulations, approved in September by the Virginia Board of Health, could shut down many of the state’s clinics.

The regulations, which will go into effect Dec. 31 if approved by McDonnell, would treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgery centers and require that they meet hospital-type regulations. They would mandate the size of exam rooms, the width of hallways and the number of parking spaces, and establish new requirements for inspections, medical procedures and record-keeping.

“[T]he new regulations could force closure of most of the Commonwealth’s 23 providers by 2012,” according to a news release announcing the petition-signing event, planned for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Cannon House Office Building, room 441.

Anti-abortion advocates say the changes will make the clinics, which have been treated like doctor’s offices, safer for women.