As Lawmakers Debate Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics, a Search Warrant Is Served

Categories: News
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Matthew Hendley


While Republican lawmakers are arguing that it's necessary to allow warrantless searches of abortion clinics in Arizona, the first warranted search of an abortion clinic in several years just recently took place.

The Associated Press, which reported this fact, noted the coincidence that this warrant just happened to get served when lawmakers were starting to debate this bill, which is being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy.

See also:
-Arizona House Passes Bill to Allow Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics
-Activists Call on Legislators to Cut Ties With the Center for Arizona Policy

According to the AP, the administrative warrant served by state health officials at a Planned Parenthood location was obtained "in response to a low-priority report," filed nearly a year ago, "about a complication that a patient experienced." The report says no citations have been issued.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona President Bryan Howard told the AP it looks like the Department of Health Services just got the warrant so one of its employees could testify on the abortion bill three days later, about how burdensome it was to obtain a warrant.

Democratic legislators have argued that this proposed bill would just open the door for an anti-abortion state health department employee to endlessly harass or disrupt abortion clinics.

Howard, who testified yesterday at the Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing on the bill yesterday, said it seems like the system with warrants is bad enough.

"With recent developments, it is clear the current system that requires a warrant can be abused and manipulated," he said. "Imagine what would happen in a warrantless environment without a judicial check on regulatory authority."

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. As you can imagine, some see it differently -- there are no other medical facilities targeted by ideologues quite like abortion clinics are. (Nobody firebombs the gastroenterologist's office.)

This bill 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, but Planned Parenthood disagrees -- meaning a lawsuit would be likely.

The bill, which already passed the House, was passed by that Senate committee yesterday, along party lines.

"This bill is not about safety or women," Howard said. "This is about chipping away at abortion access and continuing to stigmatize women who decide on abortion and the physicians who provide this care. It is also about leaving both patients and providers vulnerable to harassment."

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22 comments
Gary L Knowthyself Jones
Gary L Knowthyself Jones

And the " Arizona Ignorant " behavior continues in our " Christo-fascist, Fetus-loving, Racist, Homophobic, Wasteland."

Scott Dalton
Scott Dalton

It is about both. There is no reason that an abortion clinic should have any different standard of operation or cleanliness that any other medical facility.

SueW824
SueW824

But its ok to kill a baby right

marcy
marcy

The primary reason far right Arizona nutbaggers are so upset about abortion is their parents remind them how much better off the world would have been if they hadn't been born.

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

I'd love to see the reactions of Arizona's right wing zealots when they realize just who, in fact, uses the clinics when client lists are inevitably leaked by TOTALLY patriotic, ultra-zealous and utterly corrupt right wing senators after one of those searches.  They'd be exposing their own wives and daughters, as every doctor who performs abortion has testified over the years. The type of people who seek such services are across the board, ideologically. Every reasonable, saner person knows this - and this is much more so in the south, where sexual health education is such a big non-no - especially for the 'christian' right.  So, while this kind of see-through and overtly anti-American targeting of a health service they don't like(supposedly), the end result would probably include some pretty amazing back lash from within the zealot community, I imagine - and hopefully some soul-searching among those politicians who use this issue to distract from their inability to govern the state as adults would.. 

The scumbags are just as bad as those involved in the Salem witch trials. Except their extreme, anti-gay, anti-liberal, aggressively pro-violence authoritarian zeal, very much reminds me of pre WW2 Germany. Or of Russia right now. Corrupt, making money from imprisoning minorities, they get political points by victimizing and terrorizing entire communities, and on and on and on. The similarities are sadly striking.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

I've now stopped questioning the ethics and morals of the elected GOP in AZ.


I now question the ethics, morals, and SANITY of the idiots that vote for these scumbags!!

1959cutter
1959cutter

WOW!   I hope them thar republicans don't try and take my weed!(I secretly kill all the males)....wait! that's next!

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Speaking of douchebags, I see the CAP & Arizona politicians are up to same old bullshit, want to control everyone but themselves.

david_saint01
david_saint01

@SueW824  every friday on my way to work, i see a few ladies silently protesting outside a womens clinic. And every time i ask them, "when is the last time you fed the homeless? Or paid of a kids tab for his school lunch?" each time, they just give me a look. This philosophy of "protect the fetus! But ignore the child" is getting old

david_saint01
david_saint01

@SueW824  its apparently ok to let them starve to death. Or maybe you have forgotten about the living kids that need just as much, or more attention! 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@WhoKnows ,

Welcome aboard WhoKnows, I've been questioning the same thing for years. After all, the steady stream of wingnuts who hold office didn't elect themselves.

But not to worry, in a few short months, the lemmings will make their way to the voting booths and do as they've always done............Make living here an embarrassment. 

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

@WhoKnows  Exactly. Old and gullible.  I think, also, much responsibility for the mess Arizona is in lies with those who don't vote.

david_saint01
david_saint01

@Cozz  I say we change that and push for a bill requiring any CAP laws to be voted on by the public! My guess, she would silently fade away after losing a few 

FUQYU
FUQYU

@david_saint01 How many children have you adopted high horse? How many living children unrelated to you do you give to high horse? Thats right, STFU

SueW824
SueW824

@david_saint01 @SueW824 with both of your replies you did not answer my question.  When is it ok to kill a baby?  Remember adoption is also a choice.  just because they have not fed the homeless or paid a tab is not enough reason to kill. 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz you have got to go to the sex-based abortion article and read JAFfys post.............its worth the detour

david_saint01
david_saint01

@FUQYU  LMAO 1. i wasnt talking to you. 2. i didnt ask your opinion. 3. telling me to stfu and making me are two different things skippy. 4. did you honestly think that would get you very far?! lol 

66rock
66rock topcommenter

@SueW824 @david_saint01  Key word there, baby and definition thereof. Again, it's none of your business, not your body.

SueW824
SueW824

@david_saint01 @SueW824  there are programs out there to help with kids.  I was on food stamps 2 times in my life, my kids didnt starve but they did not have the extras either.  I don't buy all these poor starving kids. Its NEVER ok to kill a baby.  Adoption is always a choice.  Its mind boggling to me that you seem ok with killing a baby. 

david_saint01
david_saint01

@SueW824 @david_saint01  how about this then..its about as ok to kill an unborn child as it is to ignore a starving child! yes, the same legislators who push an anti choice agenda are the same ones taking money from programs for poor kids to give to big business! However, its not YOUR place, nor mine, to tell a woman what to do with her body. You arent carrying the child to term are you? no, THEY are. And in a country that professes freedom so greatly, especially being that its the party that does so so ardently, its mind boggling you cant grasp that concept. 

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