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Gov. Brewer Signs Abortion-Clinic Inspection Legislation

Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Tuesday allowing unannounced, warrantless inspections of abortion clinics. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

Proponents said there is no reason for a special exemption for these clinics from the same regulations that apply to all other health care facilities. But, foes said abortion clinics have a heightened need for privacy both for patients and staff. Bryan Howard, president of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said Brewer’s signature is no surprise.

“She has been hostile to women’s healthcare, and Planned Parenthood’s role in providing women’s healthcare since the day she took office,” Howard said.

That’s not an exaggeration. In a 2012 interview with Arizona Public Radio, Brewer spelled out her animosity toward the organization.

“I do not support the goals of Planned Parenthood because I believe in life. They believe in choice. So let’s just cut right through the fat and tell it like it is. I don’t support them,” Brewer said.

The new law could wind up in court before it takes effect later this summer. In a 2004 ruling, a federal appeals court voided an identical provision as unconstitutional. That resulted in a consent agreement which said the state would first get a warrant — an agreement Howard said remains in effect. But Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy which helped craft the measure, said that ruling was based on the fact Arizona did not regulate abortion clinics at the time, something she said is no longer true.

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