Abortion

Arizona Republicans Now Seek Warrantless Searches of Abortion Clinics

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Rep. Debbie Lesko/Facebook

Following her veto of Senate Bill 1062, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer reprimanded Republican legislators for focusing on social issues instead of "passing a responsible budget that continues Arizona's economic comeback." Naturally, they responded by immediately taking up a new piece of abortion related legislation.

The bill, backed by the Center for Arizona Policy (the same group that pushed SB 1062), would do away with the state health department's need to obtain an administrative warrant in order to search abortion clinics, among other things. Its sponsor, state Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), says there's no reason abortion clinics shouldn't be subjected to the same kind of surprise inspections "that happen at Burger King and McDonald's."

Should the measure pass, a lawsuit is almost certain, according to Arizona's Northwest Valley News. A federal appeals court blocked a similar Arizona measure in 2004, concluding that abortion clinics differ from other types of health facilities because of patients' need for an "enhanced level of privacy."

Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix … predicted that if this measure is approved it will wind up back in court, with a similar result — but only after the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defend the measure.

When that argument failed to sway supporters, Cardenas tried a different tactic. He offered an amendment saying that if the law is changed and the state loses, then the cost of the legal fight should come directly out of the budgets controlled by the House speaker and Senate president and not from other taxpayer dollars.

After being initially approved by the Arizona House on Thursday, a final vote on the measure (House Bill 2284) was postponed until next week. 

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  1. Here’s a better idea: the legal costs should come directly from the pockets of the legislators who voted for it.

  2. You know what we haven’t talked about in a while? The Ground Zero Mosque.

    1. aborting thread!

    2. You know, I heard they wanted to perform circumcisions in that Mosque.

      1. I heard they were going to be serving deep dish pizza topped with artisanal mayo after the ceremony.

      2. no that was vacination

    3. The Ground Zero Mosque was a wingnut talking point – kind of like a fake scandal similar to Benghazi.

      1. That word fake doesn’t mean what you think it means astroturf.

    4. I wasn’t around here when that was a controversy, were there actually people here who supported the government blocking its construction?

        1. Link?

        2. But only 8% of John. So yes, all of John.

          1. Yeah, what’s with all the “8” stuff? I must not have seen that thread.

            1. It’s a white supremacist thing. Something about Hitler I think.

              1. 8th letter is H so 88 stands for Heil Hitler.

        3. 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 !!!!eighty!!!111

      1. I wasn’t around here when that was a controversy, were there actually people here who supported the government blocking its construction?

        You respond to it like it isn’t the homeless insane dude arguing with a trash can. It is. All it wants is cake.

        1. Fist of Etiquette posted the comment I responded to, not Buttplug

          1. Oh, what I wrote describes FoE, too, but it isn’t like I haven’t been guilty of attempting to reason with it.

            1. I crack occasionally, but generally I try to ignore it. Talking to it is a waste of time. You might as well interact with a person who has oppositional-defiant disorder.

              I was around a kid like that. Typical conversation:

              “We are going out to eat at Copelands tonight”

              “No! I hate Copelands! I want to go to Robby G’s!”

              “Ok, Robby G’s is good. We will do that.”

              “No! No! No! I hate Robby G’s! I want Copelands!”

              Good times……

      2. As far as I know, the only purportedly “freedom-loving” people calling for blocking the mosque were some Objectivists from the “official” branch of the philosophy. Reason wrote about that some, I think. I don’t recall any Reasoners coming out against it, though.

        1. How do you have an ‘official’ branch of a philosophy?

          1. Ayn Rand designated Leonard Peikoff as her official heir, and he founded the Ayn Rand Institute. There was a split in the movement in the late 1980s, with some of the Objectivists who left creating The Atlas Society. Peikoff’s branch of the movement is what I was referring to, sorry for the confusion.

            As it turns out, Peikoff himself thought it permissible to block the Ground Zero Mosque from construction.

            1. Gotcha, thanks. About as silly as one would suspect given the circumstances, I suppose.

  3. The bill, backed by the Center for Arizona Policy (the same group that pushed SB 1062), would do away with the state health department’s need to obtain an administrative warrant in order to search abortion clinics

    Sure, great idea! Let’s make hash of the 4th Amendment for the unborn children, all while giving more fodder to the other Statists (on the left!)

    Please stop helping, GOP. Because you’re not.

    1. do away with the state health department’s need to obtain an administrative warrant

      Since the department writes its own administrative warrants, this is another culture war bill that would accomplish exactly nothing at all.

    2. Please stop helping, GOP. Because you’re not.

      And lose their mantle of The Stupid Party? NEVER!

  4. Every time it looks like the dems are going to cough up control, the GOP puts out a burst of stupidity that knocks them back to the 50’s AGAIN. Damn, these folks are more stupid than the dems, because there policies are generally as bad, but the GOP is also getting beat on the Perception War as well. I’m not sure I’ll ever vote again.

    1. YOu must remember that these people are politicians.

      Politicians are almost universally utterly amoral, twisted, deranged scum.

      Thus an inability to control their desires to impose their twisted vision or paradise on their fellow men.

      1. You also should remember that the guy who sponsored the bill is from Peoria, a lily-white upper-class suburb next to where my mom lives, full of socons like her who love this culture war crap.

        The problem with a representative republic is that you get politicians who actually are somewhat representative of (some of) their constituents, albeit generally more sociopath.

      2. Which is why they’re elected to lead us. Wait, whut?

        Einsteinian politics: electing the same people over and over again and expecting different results.

    2. I’m not sure I’ll ever vote again.

      What made you start?

    3. I would imagine that warrantless searches of businesses are more common today than they were in the Bad Old 50s.

      1. I would take that bet. The 4th Amendment and its exclusionary rule was not incorporated to the states until Mapp v. Ohio, 1961. Read The Maltese Falcon and how easily and accepted it was for the police to ransack Sam Spade’s (or anyone else’s) apartment or business whenever they felt like it.

  5. A federal appeals court blocked a similar Arizona measure in 2004, concluding that abortion clinics differ from other types of health facilities because of patients’ need for an “enhanced level of privacy.”

    That’s the difference?

    1. That’s the difference?

      Perhaps this is a concession that government officials can’t be trusted to keep personal information private?

      Just kidding. Abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” but one out of three is good enough.

    2. Jeebus on a pogo stick. They can look at any patient’s medical records from a hospital, ambulatory surgery center, doctor’s office, etc.

      How exactly do abortion patients either need or get these extra special privacy rights, that are contained in no statute or regulation?

      1. Well, abortion is kind of legally pretty intertwined with privacy…

        1. This. I’m not an expert on Roe v. Wade, but that was part of their ruling, wasn’t? That the 14th Amendment covered privacy and thus covered abortions? The court decision in 2004 probably went along those lines in blocking the Arizona measure.

          1. So if Episiarch wants to have the same type of privacy rights when he goes in to get a penis enlargement, he can be denied because Roe’s reach doesn’t extend to other medical procedures?

            1. I’m not arguing with you, just saying what their decision was probably based on.

          2. “I’m not an expert on Roe v. Wade, but that was part of their ruling, wasn’t? ”

            That ruling sucked, regardless of where you stand on the issue.

    3. There we go. I was wondering what the catch was. If the Reason writers could stop mixing their Cosmos for a second, they would realize that a less-misleading headline would be, “Arizona Wishes to Subject Abortion Clinics to the Same Unconstitutional Scrutiny that Other Licensed Businesses Face.” But, then we wouldn’t be feeding that false narrative that Arizona is populated by undereducated hicks.

      1. Yup. Our population of uneducated hicks is no worse than that of any other state, and probably a good deal less harmful (of all the places I’ve lived, AZ is the one where people as a whole couldn’t give two shits about your religion or private life.

  6. WTF? Don’t they know that social issues are supposed to be decided by unelected left wing judges?

  7. Republicans…

    Can’t get to the third rail fast enough.

    1. Can’t get to the third rail fast enough.

      You Know Which Other Republican tries to avoid the third rails?

      Anyway the libertarian moment is upon us!

  8. Fucking idiots.

  9. On the bright side, the it looks like someone finally figured out a way to make the liberals remember that they should be against warrantless searches.

    1. Not likely. They’ll carve out some ridiculous exception or else another to justify slashing the 4A except when it comes to abortion clinic.

      1. This. Wasn’t there recently a state or jurisdiction that used health code and safety regulations to trip up abortion clinics– and they were perfectly legitimate ‘safety’ regulations, like hall width etc?

        You think that gave progressives one iota of pause about the regulatory state?

    2. Not likely. They now have the bright idea of warrant-less searches for transfats and raw milk.

  10. Just when they have everything they ever wanted at the tips of their fingers, they’re sure to grease them up with enough dog shit to make sure it slips right through.

    I mean, I don’t really care that Team RED is retarded except inasmuch as it means Team BLUE will remain in control.

  11. This law brings abortion clinics in line with other health care facilities, so in that respect it rights a wrong initially imposed on women that want their health care (they consider abortion health care, right?) provided at facilities that meet the same standards as other health care facilities and are subject to the same inspection processes.

    Now, having said that, the fact that any business can be inspected without a warrant is patently absurd in a society that cares one whit for private property rights.

    1. I know. They seem to be saying that abortion is just too important to have to meet the health and safety standards imposed on other health care providers.

      Treat ’em all the same, I say. If some hungover apparatchik can paw through our records at a hospital, he/she/it should be able to paw through records at an abortion clinic.

      1. See my post below. Seeking equality of regulation in either direction would have resulted in claims of a “GOP War On Women”. And the media shitheels would have run with it.

  12. “Its sponsor, state Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), says there’s no reason abortion clinics shouldn’t be subjected to the same kind of surprise inspections “that happen at Burger King and McDonald’s.””

    And this is so self-evidently absurd it doesn’t deserve a rebuttal?

    1. Lesko is an idiot. This bill needed to be presented for what it actually does: open abortion clinics up to the same exact level of scrutiny that every other health care facility in Arizona is subject to.

    2. Yes, Eddie, because there could be nothing involved in getting abortions that would make Burger King a poor analogy.

      1. You’re right, Bo — a lot more could go wrong in an abortion (particularly a late term one) than at a Burger King.

        1. Is that the only difference than can be relevant you think?

          Consider a Burger King and a gynecologist and get back with me.

          1. They’re both businesses that shouldn’t be invaded by government morons right?

            1. Yes

      1. Nice

    3. “And this is so self-evidently absurd it doesn’t deserve a rebuttal?”

      Good point, I…

      “Lesko is an idiot. ”

      Oh.

  13. Hmm, the NYTimes links to a site that pushed the legislation but who’s main points do not seem to be contradicted in the article.

    If so, the title of this article is misleading, to say the least.

    Abortion clinics are shockingly the only health care institutions in Arizona that the Department of Health Services (DHS) cannot immediately inspect upon reasonable cause to believe a violation is occurring.

    There are very few places that are protected from warrantless searches. Better keep abortion clinics protected, wouldn’t want more Goslings (to be discovered) out there.

  14. One day, the GOP will learn that it’s not gays, or ‘degenerate lifestylez’, or promiscuity, or Mapplethorpe photos, or whatever other culture war items that they get their victorian knickers in a twist about… it’s a government paying its people not to work that kills it.

    Have fun being a minor third party, GOP.

    1. The GOP will never catch on to that (neither will the Dems).

      Why do you keep hoping?

    2. Have fun being a minor third party, GOP.

      How Pollyannish.

  15. If a Republican would have proposed to bring every other health care facility’s inspection process by requiring warrants be obtained to inspect them, the Proggie fuckstains would be up in arms at the war on women the right was waging by limiting regulations.

    Sometimes you just can’t win…even when your goal is equality.

  16. Who could be against clean, safe, regulated and inspected abortion mills clinics?

    1. Who would think that surprise government inspections would be the best way to get that, or that it would not have perverse effects?

      Oh, sorry, I thought I was reporting to a libertarian. Did not notice the handle.

      1. Just because the state subjects every other type of health care facility to surprise inspections with no warrants doesn’t mean abortion clinics should have to be subjected to them!

        I guess the whole equal treatment before the law thing only works with gay marriage.

    2. It should be legal or not. Allowing unfettered access to the government sets an alarming precedent, while almost assuredly preventing zero abortions.

  17. A federal appeals court blocked a similar Arizona measure in 2004, concluding that abortion clinics differ from other types of health facilities because of patients’ need for an “enhanced level of privacy.”

    Why should other patients be subjected to a degraded level of privacy?
    Does the federal court think women who have abortions deserve some sort of stigma? For exercising their constitutional right to receive reproductive health care? That sounds like a feminist-studies textbook example of slut shaming.

  18. Several commenters have said that this law applies the same standard that all other health care businesses must follow. I do not think that is correct, unless it was changed since the 2004 case striking down a similar law. From that opinion:

    “Prior to the promulgation of the statutory and regulatory scheme at issue in this case, the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) was explicitly denied authority to regulate any private physician office or clinic of a licensed health care provider unless patients were kept overnight or administered general anesthesia. The state alleges that the statutory scheme, passed in 1999, was implemented in response to the highly publicized death of Lou Anne Herron, a patient who bled to death while recovering in an abortion clinic following an extremely substandard abortion provided by Dr. John Biskind, but plaintiffs contest this characterization of the State’s motivation. The statute singles out abortion providers who provide five or more first trimester abortions, or any second or third trimester abortions, in a month, and it subjects all such providers to the licensing requirements imposed on health care institutions…The regulations also require the providers to submit to warrantless, unbounded inspections of their offices and provide DHS inspectors access to unredacted medical records.” (Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden, 9th Cir. 2004)

  19. Other commentators, ignorant of the opinion in the case and going off only the excerpt about ‘enhanced level of privacy’ are quite off base.

    The Court noted that businesses are protected by the Fourth Amendment, but that there is an exception allowing warrantless administrative searches when the industry in question is a closely regulated one. They reject this in relation to abortion providers, saying:

    “Moreover, the theory behind the closely regulated industry exception is that persons engaging in such industries, and persons present in those workplaces, have a diminished expectation of privacy. Burger, 482 U.S. at 701, 107 S.Ct. 2636. That theory clearly does not apply to abortion clinics, where the expectation of privacy is heightened, given the fact that the clinic provides a service grounded in a fundamental constitutional liberty, and that all provision of medical services in private physicians’ offices carries with it a high expectation of privacy for both physician and patient. Thus, a proper balancing of the factors, especially in the context of the purpose behind the closely regulated industry exception, indicates that abortion clinics are not a closely regulated industry…Because abortion clinics are not a closely regulated industry, the scheme’s authorization of warrantless searches of the clinics is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment” (Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden, 9th Cir. 2004)

    1. ^^TL/DR^^: The Fourth Amendment means nothing and is upheld in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

      1. You asked the other day what you missed in the past few months? Meet Bo, an argumentative 2nd year law student who put an ESQ in his handle.

        1. We should go back to calling them barristers.

          1. Sure. Once they’ve graduated and passed the Bar.

          2. How about Counselor?

            1. Shit head is closest to the mark.

              1. My, conservatives are easy to upset.

                1. “My, conservatives are easy to upset.”

                  WE’RE NOT CONSERVATIVES WE’RE INDEPENDENTS

          3. We should go back to smothering them in their sleep, at the first sign of lawyering.

        2. No. He’s a sockpuppet who has referenced stuff in H&R comments from years ago.

          1. The plot thickens. Do you have a link for further reading?

            1. Don’t listen to SIV. He’s just a sockpuppet for Gillespie trying to gin up page views. But then again I’m just a sockpuppet for undead Adolf Hitler, so what do I know?

            2. I’m not going to look for it. I ignore “Bo” but the other day he referenced how it had changed around here and unless he has been reading the archive that indicates a familiarity with pre-2009 H&R comments.

              The “usual suspects” for sockpuppets are:

              1. regular commenters
              2. staff (and former staff)
              3. former regular commenters

              1. “I ignore “Bo” but the other day he referenced ”

                1. Huh? How is it possible to ‘ignore’ me and then know what I referenced?

                2. I would like to see you produce where I said things had changed around here past the six or so months I have been commenting.

                1. This place was a lot less paranoid when Virginia Postrel was holding the whip.

                  1. I’ll be in my bunk.

                2. “How is it possible to ‘ignore’ me and then know what I referenced?”

                  I believe it’s called “stalking.” May need a ruling from the five original commenters here who are not sock puppets.

              2. “I’m not going to look for it.”

                Translation: I’m paranoid and full of shit.

        3. So you find it too argumentative to…actually find and read the case referenced rather than going into long, cute comments based on an incorrect excerpt?

          1. Bo wants abortion to be “safe, legal and rare” but one out of three is good enough.

            1. It is hard for Marshall to understand, but in regards to voluntary exchanges between doctors and patients, I want them to just be ‘free.’

      2. [blank] means nothing and is upheld in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

        So every court ruling?

      3. SHUT UP BO YOU’RE USING TOO MANY WORDS CAN’T FOCUS ARGGH!

    2. Other commentators, ignorant of the opinion in the case and going off only the excerpt about ‘enhanced level of privacy’ are quite off base.

      The Court noted that businesses are protected by the Fourth Amendment, but that there is an exception allowing warrantless administrative searches when the industry in question is a closely regulated one.

      How exactly is anyone criticizing the ridiculously arbitrary nature of such a regulatory scheme “off base”? It’s shit. Certain medical care providers are subject to the regulatory equivalent of an anal probe at the pleasure of the state, and certain others aren’t, all based on the state’s designation of whether or not the medical provider in question constitutes a “closely regulated” industry. That’s among the most vague, abusive, cronyist bowl of fuck regulatory inventions there is. Something tells me if the medical provider in question was a plastic surgeon instead of an abortion provider you wouldn’t be so animated in defense of the regulatory structure.

      1. PM, if you had posted this nonsense before I put the 9th Circuit’s recitation of the facts up it would then be at least understandable as ignorance.

        Once again:

        “”Prior to the promulgation of the statutory and regulatory scheme at issue in this case, the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) was explicitly denied authority to regulate any private physician office or clinic of a licensed health care provider unless patients were kept overnight or administered general anesthesia. The state alleges that the statutory scheme, passed in 1999, was implemented in response to the highly publicized death of Lou Anne Herron, a patient who bled to death while recovering in an abortion clinic following an extremely substandard abortion provided by Dr. John Biskind, but plaintiffs contest this characterization of the State’s motivation. The statute singles out abortion providers who provide five or more first trimester abortions, or any second or third trimester abortions, in a month, and it subjects all such providers to the licensing requirements imposed on health care institutions…”

        1. They do provide some type of health care right? So why shouldn’t they be “subject…to the licensing requirements on health care institutions…”?

          1. I have long thought of DesigNate as a Republican lurker here. He only ‘asks questions’ of me when I criticize conservatives or Republicans. But here is the real proof: long after I have called into question the conservative talking points (citing the 9th Circuit’s recitation of facts that these are not the same ‘licensing requirements on health care institutions’) he keeps repeating them.

  20. Its sponsor, state Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), says there’s no reason abortion clinics shouldn’t be subjected to the same kind of surprise inspections “that happen at Burger King and McDonald’s.”

    This makes me curious: has a restaurant or any other business ever challenged impromptu inspections on 4th Am grounds?

    1. A friend of mine in the public health field used to inspect restaurants and got run out of several Chinese places with a meat cleaver. When the cops showed the cleaver-wielder would be gone and no one could speak English.

      I used to eat at a Chinese place that scored a “26” on an inspection.

      1. That’s how you know it’s going to be good.

    2. If they did they lost. Food production and preparation are the epitome of a closely regulated industry which would not be seen as having a countervailing privacy concern.

      It is not the type of distinction I would choose, but there it is.

  21. Can I early vote for Rand in the primary yet? Because I really, really want to do away with this fucking “R” registration thing. God it smells.

  22. Ya know, alternatively, they could have extended the very special privacy protections that abortion doctors and patients get to, say, everybody.

  23. We all know this is really about how evil rich people don’t want to raise minimum wage.

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