Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last week allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a warrant.
HB 2284 repeals an Arizona law that requires a judge to give approval for inspections of abortion clinics. Department of Health Services officials will now be able to inspect any clinic during business hours, even without reasonable cause.
Activists are concerned the law will put the state’s nine clinics at risk of abuse by anti-abortion legislators. “House Bill 2284 does nothing but open the door to provider and patient harassment,” Bryan Howard, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said in a statement.
The law was written by the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative think tank behind three other abortion laws that courts have ruled against. One of them, a law putting restrictions on medication abortions, went into effect earlier this month, but a federal court issued a temporary injunction against it shortly after.
The law could go into effect as early as next week. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona expects there will be a legal challenge to the law, but is unsure if the organization will participate.
Media Resources: Planned Parenthood Arizona 3/4/14; Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona 4/15/14; AZ Central 4/15/14; RH Reality Check 4/17/14; Reuters 4/15/14; Arizona State Legislature; Feminist Newswire 4/1/14, 4/10/14