Legislature Passes Bill to Allow Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics

Categories: News
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Matthew Hendley


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.

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61 comments
Kavita Bernstein
Kavita Bernstein

This article is misleading. Abortion clinics are the only type of licensed setting that are not subject to unannounced visits by the division of licensing. If all other types of licensed settings are subject to yearly unannounced site visits, why provide an exception to abortion clinics?

Lisa White
Lisa White

Wtf?? we have nothing better to do with our time & $$ than search abortion clinics for???

Doc Russ
Doc Russ

Outrageous, but again this is Arizona

Jon Crowley
Jon Crowley

If I ever get around to having that abortion I'll feel much safer now.

Ryan Gielow
Ryan Gielow

Why not? Plenty of other licensed businesses in Arizona must submit to surprise inspections by their regulatory agencies. And those business are not dealing with life and death issues.

Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

Center for Arizona Policy pushes legislation written by outside think tanks, and even if they suspect the law will be overturned, it accomplishes their ultimate goal, which is to get irrational, true believers to the polls. If you don't vote to get rid of these idiots. You deserve them as you legislators!! Just keep on calling and writing them.

Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

Warentless searches are unconstitutional! This is also against medical practices. What the Hell is wrong with these sex obsessed legislators?

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Apparently Republicans and Tea Party fools aren't aware that the clinics have a Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Also they aren't too familiar with the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade....

Law and order types, our Republican legislature claims they are. Constitutionalists, they call themselves.

Yeah, right.

Porter M Corn
Porter M Corn

Warrantless Searches? 4th Amendment? Never stand! Morons!

Susan Cactuswren
Susan Cactuswren

Murder is by definition the unlawful killing of a person with malice aforethought. There are three points there: "unlawful", "killing of a person", and "malice aforethought". 1. Murder is unlawful, abortion is lawful, therefore abortion is not murder. 2. Murder is the killing of a person, abortion kills no person, therefore abortion is not murder. 3. Murder requires malice, abortion involves no malice, therefore abortion is not murder. You're 0 for 3, would you care to try again?

jeanjb
jeanjb

this is arizona,where i,without any credentials can poke you with a dirty tattoo needle,or pierce your labia (any labia),but i will be thrown in jail for making a denture or repairing it for anyone!

it is more about money and political points than really helping the public.

we need to protect the money people at all cost!

jeanjb
jeanjb

remember the good old days when CAP was the concrete ditch?

or civil air patrol?

Chuck Graf
Chuck Graf

The Center for Arizona Policy pushing their Christian agenda on everyone once again.

Marty Ercoline
Marty Ercoline

OK....stop now. They continue to embarass us with all this crap legislation.....

Ritsuko T Lazarus
Ritsuko T Lazarus

I always wonder why the government has to get involved with women's choice.

Timothy D Little
Timothy D Little

I don't support theist busy bodies who think a made up BOOK trumps science.

Timothy D Little
Timothy D Little

They can't do shit other then serve special interest groups and their fascist pay masters.

Emily O'Keeffe
Emily O'Keeffe

I don't think anyone has said anything about not wanting a health dept. And as far as I'm concerned if one is not able to physically give birth one needs to keep their opinions to themselves. I have two beautiful children that I love more than anything in this world, but I take issue with someone else's religious beliefs being legislated without the say of the voters. I mean isn't that why we vote to be able to a say?

Jonathan Duncan
Jonathan Duncan

Really as much as the claim they hate Obamai for using the NSA for warrantless searches to wire tap their phone in the name of national security. They are totally fine with it if its for abortion clinics, someone has a double standard.

Nathan Schneider
Nathan Schneider

If you don't see a problem with this, then you are part of the problem.

Terri-Jane Smith
Terri-Jane Smith

Totally agree with Emily! My body, my life, my choices. Nobody else has the right to decide what I do with them!

Emily O'Keeffe
Emily O'Keeffe

So basically AZ legislators are just puppets for The Center for Arizona Policy. We are letting some bigoted women decided what laws are happening in this state. Why doesn't anyone seem to have a problem with this? I don't know about anyone else but I take issue with this close minded person make rules for MY life.

Valerie Vieira-Gardner
Valerie Vieira-Gardner

Let's keep wasting time on stuff like this while people go hungry with no where to sleep.

Christian Paul
Christian Paul

New times is super liberal . That's why they say search. So true they inspect everywere . Why should baby murder clinics be treated any diffrrent

MRROACHSIR
MRROACHSIR

Alrite C'mon now, The health Department has oversight over everything that has anything to do with Public Health. That includes Restaraunts, Food Stores, Medical Facilities, Bars and Well Yes...Clinics!. It's NOT a search but an inspection. Wouldn't you WANT a clinic that does surgical procedures to conform to health standards or would you rather return to the days of Back Alley clinics?

T'attooedwhyte Pizzl'e Trailertee'rash
T'attooedwhyte Pizzl'e Trailertee'rash

C'mon now....it's not a "search", it's an "Inspection". EVERYWHERE the Health Department goes and searches/Inspects they go without any kind of Warrant. ANYTHING that has anything to do with the public Health comes under their scrutiny.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

So...once again these metal midgets we call State leaders pass a bill and will waste millions of the tax payers money fighting an appeal they can't win.

F-ing morons is what they are.



wtf....
wtf....

When will the stupid Arizona voters wake up and demand that the Center for Arizona Policy stop controlling the state!.....FUCK damn Republicans!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

It's important to understand that "warrantless searches", per se, aren't really outrageous, so the courts might actually allow them.  Other medical facilities, as well as the more obvious case of restaurant kitchens, are subject to warrantless searches as part of their licensing agreement with the State.  What's changed since similar legislation was tossed out has been that licensing agreement.


The real problem is in the motivation for this legislation, and the potential for abuse, and I'm not completely sure the courts will be willing to consider those factors until there's been some evidence of abuse.  I hope so, since it should be obvious that this has nothing to do with protecting the citizens.


david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

how about a warrantless search of CAP. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

Is there any law against lying to the state legislature?  If so, that whopper about this being to protect women's health is a clear violation.

The fact that some of the legislators claim to believe it is a sure sign of either gross incompetence or dishonesty.


david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@MRROACHSIR  id rather not give an avenue to someone in power who thinks their shit doesnt stink the right to harass a business into closing. Which is what this is ultimately going to come down to. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@MRROACHSIR  

So you believe that this is to protect women's health?   Do you happen to have any statistics to support your implication that without these inspections, abortion clinics have been negligent in their sanitation and procedures?


danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

Whoa there partner........not all of us are nuts. You and I are on the same page more than you think. Myself and quite a few other Republicans view CAP to be just as much an abomination as JAFfY is, just like you do

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative  the way laws are being written these days (and enforced)...........................most of them really dont seem to be about protecting us much anymore

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative                gross  incompetence or dishonesty????  this is Az, we didnt really need a sign for that did we?? (hell.............we can say the same for damn near any legislator anywhere cant we???) its usually a direct hit with either one of the two you provided (if not both)

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@Cozz         come on now Cozz.........thats a very untrue statement and you know it. i will help you out by correcting it "they are dishonest, so they also go to CAP to get paid"     

its kind of like the which came first .....chicken or the egg. they would still be dishonest even if they werent paid by CAP. valleynative called it right, they are grossly incompetent and dishonest with or without CAP 

(i think you should see one of those stitched sayings you always saw in your grandmas kitchen with either yours or valleys quotes though..................samplers i think they call them)

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