House passes warrantless abortion clinic inspections

The Women’s Health Protection Act, HB 2284, passed on Thursday in the Arizona House. The bill passed on a voice vote and will now head to the Senate for a roll-call vote next week.

The bill would make abortion clinics subject to the same unannounced inspections that currently apply to other medical offices.

Republican state Rep. Debbie Lesko told ADI in a Feb. 18 interview, “The reason for me sponsoring this bill is I was quite surprised that only abortion clinics” couldn’t be inspected without a warrant.

“I think that inspections of abortion clinics should be brought in line” with what applies to every other health facility in Arizona, she said. “They are all subject to unannounced inspections” by the Department of Health Services.

“You need to get an administrative search warrant,” which “could take several days,” even if a complaint was made against the abortion facility, Lesko said.

She said Philadelphia abortionist and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell – whose abortion clinic was called the “House of Horrors” – is “an important example” of what can happen when “women are not respected.”

Regardless of one’s views on abortion, Lesko said, there should be a verified “healthy environment” at clinics.

In a case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a settlement was reached that provided for a warrant to be required for abortion clinic inspections. Since that time, Arizona adopted comprehensive clinic regulations.

Dexter Duggan contributing

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