Arizona House Passes Bill to Allow Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics

Categories: I'm Only a Bill
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Matthew Hendley


The Arizona House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday to allow the state health department to conduct warrantless searches of abortion clinics, among other things.

This comes less than a week after Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062, pointing out that it had nothing to do with her legislative priorities, like passing a budget and fixing Child Protective Services. This abortion bill, House Bill 2284, is pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, the same force behind SB 1062.

See also:
-Arizona House Moves More Bills Pushed by the Force Behind SB 1062
-Activists Call on Legislators to Cut Ties With the Center for Arizona Policy

This is the second Center for Arizona Policy-supported bill to be passed by the House in the week since Brewer's veto, and multiple protests of the Center for Arizona Policy. The other was another tax break for religious organizations, which is expected to cost the state up to $2.1 million in 2016.

This abortion bill the House has passed isn't a new concept. The Center for Arizona Policy lobbied for a similar bill that was passed more than a decade ago but was overturned in court (one of four anti-abortion bills pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy that were defended using taxpayer money, and were overturned in court).

The Center for Arizona Policy contends that the circumstances are different now, given changes in way the state health department regulates abortion clinics.

The Democrats who argued against the bill didn't see it that way. They cite one of the legislative attorneys, who said the constitutionality of the bill this year (and when it was proposed last year) is questionable. Given that, there's a good likelihood of a lawsuit if this bill becomes law.

Planned Parenthood Arizona doesn't believe the bill's constitutional either.

"HB 2284 reveals a larger pattern in which well-funded interest groups with narrow social agendas influence legislators to pass unconstitutional laws that damage our state's reputation and cost taxpayers millions of dollars," Planned Parenthood Arizona president Bryan Howard says in a statement. "Destructive patterns from these extremist groups are reckless and are hurting Arizona, as seen in the recent Arizona State Legislature's approval of SB 1062."

Democratic Representative Lisa Otondo said this was a situation of a "special interest group pushing legislation to solve a problem that simply doesn't exist."

"This bill is a slap in the face to women and to taxpayers," she said.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Republican Representative Debbie Lesko, insisted that this is just an effort to hold abortion clinics to the same standard as every other type of medical facility in the state, which can be searched without a warrant at the direction of the health department.

There's a bit of a difference between an abortion clinic and, say, a podiatrist's office. No one protests outside the podiatrist's office or makes a political point of podiatry or makes it their life goal to end podiatry.

Democratic Representative Bruce Wheeler said this bill just opens the door to abuse of a potential anti-abortion ideologue at the health department who can "endlessly disrupt" an abortion clinic.

Wheeler pointed out that the health department is allowed to do unannounced inspections; they just need the warrant first.

"This is not the answer, period. I don't care what side you're on," House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said. "This is going to lead to suffering and harassment of people who are doing something very difficult."

Democratic Representative Martin Quezada, an attorney, took issue with a provision in the bill that allows a county or city attorney to defend the bill in court, which could happen if the state Attorney General's Office declined to defend it. Quezada claimed it would just "politicize" the lawsuit.

"[The state is] going to find the most politically extreme attorney. . .and we're going to get that individual to represent it in court," Quezada said. "That's a horrible precedent."

The bill passed by a 34-22 vote, and now heads over to the Senate.

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20 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Time to search every Repuglycan politician's home ... without a warrant.

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

Well, there are these names again, Debbie Lesko, Kathi Herrod and the Center for Arizona Policy. Just this morning I happened to talk to a former prosecutor who had some pretty defining words for that whole group: Batshit crazy. I wholeheartedly concur!

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Full attack by the government against women's rights and their health by politicians who have not studied medicine. Truly disturbing that the GOP who wants government out of our lives puts themselves into women's most personal decisions.

nativa53
nativa53

we need to separate church from government and the Mormon Republican church that's running our government needs to be removed. I'm NATIVE AMERICAN we have to stand up and take Arizona back from the Mormons. the Creator let this land for us not them!!!:-)

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

Won't stand to court challenge.


Why do republicans insist on wasting tax payer monies? 


Can we have even 1 day go by without a republican wasting more money on some religious jihad law that doesn't have a chance in hell of surviving a legal challenge?? Just 1?! 

DNichols
DNichols

If anyone should believe in the right for a Woman to have an abortion, it should be our proud Governor, and Mother of a worthless piece of trash Knife Point Rapist Son that has cost Tax Payers Millions for his posh room, and board in a Mental Hospital instead of the bullet to his head he deserved?!

Right Mommy Jan  Dearest?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Never a week passes without the elected politicians of The Desert Racist Wasteland making themselves out to be gigantic asswipes on a national scale.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Cathy Herrod and Len Munsil should have been aborted. Then we wouldn't be having these problems.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

The purpose of search warrants is to ensure there exists 'probable cause' that a crime of some sort is being perpetrated or has happened. Without a warrant someone could potentially walk in and announce a search for no particular reason. Say, for instance, when the daughter of a disgraced former state senator was there for an abortion that he doesn't want to happen. The inspectors could take all day, conducting their warrantless search, and the abortion sought by the daughter would not happen. At least at that clinic on that day.


This appears to be yet another flaccid attempt at circumventing criminal law policy set by courts at state and federal level. Should this bill pass and Mrs. Brewer allow it to become law it's very likely the first 'search' of this kind would result in more taxpayer monies being wasted to have the 'law' found to be unconstitutional.


Stupid does, and stupid does.

sewerman48
sewerman48

" HB 2284 reveals a larger pattern in which well-funded interest groups with narrow social agendas influence legislators to pass unconstitutional laws that damage our state's reputation and cost taxpayers millions of dollars," Planned Parenthood Arizona president Bryan Howard says in a statement. "Destructive patterns from these extremist groups are reckless and are hurting Arizona, as seen in the recent Arizona State Legislature's approval of SB 1062."

SAY'S 1 special interest group about another.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

GOD, GUNS & PUSSY.


That's all that seems to be on the minds(?) of Arizona Republicans. They want more of the first two and less of the last one.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

What is it with CAP that can just buy all the politicians they want in Arizona and continually waste the tax payers money fighting all their endless bullshit.

Warrantless searches, deciding who can eat or buy what from who and where because of sex, religion or gender, deciding what all women can do with they're bodies for any reason... What's next, telling people what religion they have to worship and where or camera's in bedrooms making sure couple aren't having sex in any other positions but the missionary and only for having a child.

These CAP lunatic's and the politicians they control as lapdogs are destroying Arizona.

Cathi Hemorrhoid, Lesko and CAP were born in the wrong time and place. They would have been better off in NAZI Germany in the 1920's. Hitler would have loved them

Reggievv
Reggievv

Lesko is Herrod's lapdog. The Arizona Taliban says jump, and Lesko says how high.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Flyer9753  "can we have even 1 day go by without a republican wasting more money.................?"   no, no we cant. nor can we go one day without a democrat or any other person who has been elected to any position do it either. it is the way of the politician to waste our money. none of them seem to be any good for us anymore, yet every election, we seem to put bigger and bigger crooks into office....................you would have figured we would have learned by now, but evidently we havent. you and i have discussed this before, and we are of different parties, but we both agree................time to start over

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  on a national scale??? i think you may be understating. i think we may have achieved global

DNichols
DNichols

@DonkyHotay

Excellent analogy of the majority of current Arizona Politicians.

To: "Asswipes" in office, too bad they weren't Aborted?!.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  Good to see you recognize Len Munsil. Is the big man (puppeteer) leaving Cathi Herrod out there to take the heat for the decades of damage his "policies" has caused many innocent children and families.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@shadeaux14  correction: They want less of the last one for everyone else, more of it for themselves


Seriously, how many times have we seen the hypocritical conservatives preach to everyone else, 'no pussy till your married' and then get caught in affairs, at strip clubs, sex parties, etc... 


So they don't want anyone else to have pussy unless its in the way they say, but they get to have all the pussy they want in any ways they want.

DNichols
DNichols

@Shadeaux14

Az. Republicans are more interested in yard chickens.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@DNichols  Well... can't really fault them for wanting to have a threesome... :)

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