Gov. Jan Brewer put her signature today on a bill that allows for the unannounced inspections of abortion clinics, guaranteeing a lawsuit to challenge the law.
Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said the law violates Arizona’s rules governing the inspections of abortion clinics, which the state agreed to in 2004 to end litigation then.
“It is on this basis we expect there to be a legal challenge, although I can’t say Planned Parenthood will be the plaintiff,” Howard said.
The law, passed as HB2284, will allow investigators to conduct surprise inspections on abortion clinics and bypass the current requirement of obtaining an administrative search warrant.
The measure also would make it a crime to circumvent the state’s parental consent law and require abortion clinics to report whether a fetus survived an attempted abortion and what steps doctors took to save it.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, and supporters of the measure have said it is designed to prevent an Arizona version of Philadelphia physician Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted last year of three counts of murder for killing newborns.
Supporters also say it is unfair to allow abortion clinics to be the only type of medical facility not to be subject to surprise inspections.
Opponents have argued that the bill could lead to harassment of clinics and patients by the state and that it is unnecessary. They also argue that a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowed for the previous law.
The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislative session ends.