Ariz. law to allow surprise inspections of abortion clinics

Ariz. law to allow surprise inspections of abortion clinics

Arizona governor Jan Brewer has signed into law a bill that ended special health inspection rules for abortion clinics, an action proponents say will help prevent dangerous conditions at abortion facilities.

“This law ensures abortion clinics are subject to the same inspection standards as all other medical facilities in the state,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which helped write the law, April 15.

“Abortion clinic inspections matter, and it is unconscionable that they would be exempt from common-sense health and safety standards.”

Herrod said Brewer’s signing of the bill into law was “another tremendous victory” for Arizona’s pro-life movement.

“Today we celebrate this victory, but our work will never be done until every woman and preborn child is protected from the dangerous and deadly practices of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.”

Arizona Right to Life, another backer of the law, issued a statement saying, “Why should abortion facilities in Arizona be held to a lower standard when the medical care of women is at stake? Only a blinding ideology could block such common sense measures.”

The law also criminalizes helping a minor to procure an abortion in violation of the state’s parental consent requirements.

Andrew Wilder, Brewer’s spokesman, said the bill ensures that state health authorities can “appropriately protect the health and safety of all parents.”

While the Arizona Department of Health Services can conduct warrantless and unannounced inspections of regulated facilities including hospitals, dialysis centers, and nursing homes, unannounced inspections of abortion clinics previously required a warrant, the Arizona Republic reports. A warrant had been required even in response to a complaint of wrongdoing.

A 1999 Arizona law allowing unannounced inspections of abortion clinics was affected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2004 decision which said inspections were too broad and would allow the state to have access to patient information. A legal agreement in 2009 allowed more state oversight, but did not allow unannounced inspections.

Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which oppose the law, are considering whether to file a legal challenge against it.

Bryan Howard, the Arizona Planned Parenthood affiliate’s president, told the Arizona Republic that the bill would create “circumstances for health care to be interrupted and patients to be harassed and certainly for their privacy to be violated in the absence of any demonstrated need.”

Abortion clinic inspections have come under further focus after the 2013 trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted for the murder of three babies who had survived abortions.

Testimony had indicated that Gosnell and his staff snipped the necks of over 100 infants who survived abortion.

A 2010 federal raid on his abortion clinic exposed foul conditions: blood-stained rooms, filthy equipment, unsanitary practices, and the storage of fetal remains in plastic food containers. The clinic had not been inspected since 1993.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report on Gosnell said that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health had decided to stop inspecting abortion clinics “for political reasons.”

“The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro,” the report said.

Concern over abortion clinic regulations has also increased in New York after the New York Post reported that some New York City eateries and tanning salons undergo more regular inspections than do its abortion clinics.

Only about 25 of the approximately 225 abortion providers in New York State are under the supervision of state regulators, the New York Post’s investigation found.

Of these 25, eight went without inspection from 2000-2012 and five were inspected only once.


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A bluebird day: Commercial fisherman Captain Geordie King

Heather King

Back in New England, my brother Geordie’s been a commercial fisherman for more than 30 years. He developed his passion for boats as a kid, out fishing and pulling lobster traps with my father.

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October 25, 2014

  • Saturday, October 25

    World Apostolate of Fatima Conference, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (noon Mass, Bishop Alexander Salazar presiding), Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., L.A. (310) 890-7912.

    Our Lady of the Angels Region Congress, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Mary’s Academy, Inglewood; $. (310) 216-9587.

    “Sing to the Lord!” formation day for music ministers, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Mary Star of the Sea Church, 463 W. Pleasant Valley Rd., Oxnard; $. (805) 469-6293.

     “Ethical Care at the End of Life,” seminar addressing end-of-life issues, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 3175 Telegraph Ave., Ventura. (805) 642-6403.

    Holiday Boutique, to support Little Sisters of the Poor, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Jeanne Jugan Residence, 2100 S. Western Ave., San Pedro. (310) 548-0625.

    St. Pius-St. Matthias Academy Open House, 10 a.m., 7851 E. Gardendale St., Downey. (562) 861-2271.

    Requiem Mass, for children lost to miscarriage and stillbirth, 10 a.m., St. Therese Church, 510 N. El Molino St., Alhambra. (626) 733-2297.

     “Mission Music,” with De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, 2 p.m., Mission San Juan Capistrano Basilica, 31520 Camino Capistrano,; $. [714] 928-9567.

    St. Philip the Apostle School Fall Festival, 2-10 p.m., 161 S. Hill Ave., Pasadena. (626) 795-9691.

    “Touch & Heal,” Cathedral Chapel  benefit concert, 4:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. concert, Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto HS, 2900 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles; $. (323) 930-5976.

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