State Capitol News
4:25 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

State Senate Approves Surprise Abortion Clinic Inspections

State senators gave final approval this afternoon to allowing unannounced warrantless health inspections of abortion clinics. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Sen. Nancy Barto
Sen. Nancy Barto
Credit npr.org


Sen. Nancy Barto said there’s a gap in the law.

“Abortion clinics are the only healthcare institutions in the state that are not subject to unannounced inspections. And allowing the situation to continue does not protect the public and must be addressed,” Barto said.

But, Sen. Katie Hobbs said there can be unannounced inspections — with a warrant. And, she said there’s a reason for that requirement.

“Simply stated, the public and the providers who work at and utilize abortion clinics are subject to harassment from the public just for utilizing the services there, just for walking in the door,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said a warrant ensures government officials do not needlessly invade personal privacy. Sen. David Farnsworth moved the debate from medical necessity to religion.

“It is amazing to me that we in America can give a slap in the face to God above by killing these unborn children,” Farnsworth said.

The measure now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, who has signed every other abortion bill that has reached her desk. And, the next step after that is likely a federal court challenge.