Abortion clinics can now be inspected in Arizona without a judge’s approval, Reuters reported:
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.
No other medical facilities in the state require such a warrant for unannounced inspections.
“This legislation will ensure that the Arizona Department of Health Services has the authority to appropriately protect the health and safety of all patients,” gubernatorial spokesman Andrew Wilder said in announcing that Brewer, a Republican, had signed the measure.
The Arizona law joins others passed recently at the urging of anti-abortion groups that regulate abortion clinics.
Last month, two clinics in Texas were shut down when their doctors couldn’t get admitting privileges to local hospitals as required by new restrictions adopted in 2013. Since the change, 19 clinics have closed in the state.
A medical center in Falls Church has sued to challenge new Virginia regulations that would apply strict hospital building codes to clinics, forcing costly renovations.
In 2013, “39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights,” the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that studies reproductive health, reported. “Half of these new provisions, 70 in 22 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services.”