KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Arizona Takes Another Abortion Restriction Step

Now the state has the authority to "surprise" inspect clinics without a warrant.

Reuters:  Bill Signed Allowing Surprise Inspections Of Arizona Abortion Clinics
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes.  The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last week, removes a provision from state law requiring a judge to approve any spot inspections conducted at the nine clinics in Arizona licensed to perform abortions (Schwartz, 4/15).

The Associated Press: Governor Signs Surprise Inspection Abortion Bill
Litigation is likely because a 2010 lawsuit settlement over a 2004 state law calls for a search warrant to be obtained before an inspection. ... Republicans say the change is needed to ensure that abortion clinics can be inspected without delays. They say the bill is an effort to keep women safe. Democrats say that removing the warrant requirement would open clinics to harassment ... [and] also say the bill is unnecessary, since only one warrant has been issued in the past four years (Galvan, 4/15).

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