The state of Arizona made progress Monday on important pro-life measures that would further hinder the vastly unregulated abortion cash cow in the state. A local news station reports that the Arizona House, in a 7-4 vote along party lines, advanced SB 1069, a measure which would both keep public money from indirectly supporting abortion clinics and allow for surprise investigations of the clinics. Arizona’s proposed law is the latest in a large string of laws nationwide aimed at regulating an industry that has little legal or medical oversight from outside accountability agencies.
According to ABC15:
In addition, language added at the behest of a powerful anti-abortion group would bar women on state Medicaid from getting an abortion at Planned Parenthood Arizona if they previously received planning or care from the group’s clinics.
SB 1069 was amended with what is known as the “Strike Everything Amendment.” The major provisions of this measure allow for surprise inspections of abortion clinics, which proponents say is only fair, because every other state medical facility is subject to them. Therefore., this is not singling out abortion facilities, but simply holding them to the same standard as any medical facility.
According to a summary of the measure:
Abortion clinics are shockingly the only health care institutions in Arizona that are not subject to unannounced inspections. To even conduct an unannounced inspection, government authorities must first obtain a warrant. Furthermore, after a clinic’s initial inspection upon licensure and follow-up inspection one year later, abortion clinics are only subject to further inspections every two years. The Strike Everything Amendment to SB 1069 corrects this problem by allowing the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS) to address complaints or concerns in a timely manner by granting it the power to perform unannounced inspections of abortion clinics. Additionally, the amendment establishes further safeguards to ensure Arizona taxpayers are protected from subsidizing the abortion industry.
The bill also prevents abortion funding through taxpayer money, asking that people not be, as Center for Arizona Policy says, “forced to subsidize an activity that they find to be morally repugnant.” The measure notes that despite the fact that Arizona has a longstanding policy against funding abortion:
[A]bortion providers continue to receive federal money through grants and programs like Medicaid. Current Arizona law protects taxpayers from being forced to directly pay for the performance of abortions. However, taxpayer dollars are still being used to directly and indirectly subsidize the abortion industry – particularly through grants that come from the federal government for family planning services. In addition, the recent permanent injunction placed on CAP-supported HB 2800, which sought to cut off taxpayer funding to abortion providers, means abortion providers continue to receive taxpayer funds.
At issue with the funding portion of the measure is what the legislation notes is the way abortion provides gather their patients:
The current legal framework enables abortion providers that are also Medicaid providers to benefit from a “patient stream,” whereby they establish contact with Medicaid members who are more likely to return to them for abortion services in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.
In summary, Center for Arizona Policy’s website notes that the talking points of this measure are as follows:
- At a minimum, abortion clinics should be held to the same standards as other medical facilities.
- Arizonans do not want their tax dollars subsidizing abortion.
And finally, the center cites Live Action’s recent investigation, Inhuman: Undercover in America’s Late-Term Abortion Industry, as a point of exigency for this measure’s passage, noting:
- The Live Action Investigation into a Phoenix late-term abortion clinic along with the revelations from the trial of abortionist and convicted murderer Dr. Kermit Gosnell necessitate immediate action from the legislature.
This measure now advances to the Arizona Senate. Further details are available in this PDF fact sheet.
The time has come for abortion providers to stop being treated as a privileged class of people. It remains a surprising fact that the ear, nose, throat clinic on one corner can be inspected and held to high safety standards, but the abortion clinic across the road can’t be inspected without a warrant. This potential law is the latest in a stream of laws that simply say the abortion industry, while legal, is largely unregulated and needs to be addressed as any other medical industry currently is regulated.