Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics

The Arizona Legislature has passed a bill that would allow the state health department to search abortion clinics without an administrative warrant.

The legislation, House Bill 2284, passed the House in March and got approval from the Senate yesterday by a 17-13 vote.

See also:
-The Center for Arizona Policy Hates Gays, Abortions, and Tells Politicians What to Do
-As Lawmakers Debate Warrantless Searches of Clinics, a Search Warrant Is Served

Yesterday's debate on the bill in the Senate was remarkably similar to the debate held between the Republican majority and Democratic minority in the House last month.

Republican proponents of the bill argued that the legislation is meant to protect women's health and also holds up abortion clinics to the same standards of other licensed medical facilities around the state.

On the other side, the major arguments from Democrats were that abortion clinics aren't like other medical facilities, as there are no political positions to be held on something like gastroenterology. They fear the bill opens the door to potential abuse by some anti-abortion crusader.

The bill is being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, naturally, the force behind legislation such as the anti-gay SB 1062.

Now the fate of the bill is in Governor Jan Brewer's hands.

If she signs it into law, no one is going to be surprised if there's a lawsuit to follow.

CAP pushed a similar bill that was signed into law more than a decade ago but was overturned in court (one of four anti-abortion bills pushed by the religious-right org that were defended using taxpayer money, and were overturned in court).

Planned Parenthood representatives already have suggested that they believe this incarnation of the law is unconstitutional as well.

Meanwhile, taxpayers are footing the bill to defend another Center for Arizona Policy-backed abortion law, which created strict regulations on medicated abortions, which could prevent some women from have access to abortion altogether.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

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