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Virginia Beach doctor named health commissioner

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia Beach family physician is Virginia's new health commissioner.

Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday appointed Cynthia Romero to replace Karen Remley, who resigned in October over Virginia's strict new abortion clinic regulations.

According to the governor's office, Romero manages a family medical practice and is the first chief medical officer for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center.

Remley resigned a little more than a month after the state Board of Health adopted new requirements that abortion clinics meet the same strict building standards as new hospitals. Abortion-rights supporters have said the regulations could force most of the state's 20 abortion clinics to close.

A person who answered the phone at Romero's office said she was with a patient and was unavailable for immediate comment.