Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Arizona House Appropriations Committee began its hearing today with the eleventh hour "strike everything amendment" to SB 1069 for the benefit of the Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) to allow the
Arizona Department of Health Services to conduct unannounced
inspections of abortion clinics, in violation of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden (2004) which does not allow surprise inspections without an administrative warrant. The strike-everything amendment would also require AHCCCS to conduct financial audits of Medicaid providers to ensure that the money isn’t being co-mingled.
Sen. Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) briefly testified in support of the amendment, citing convicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell as a reason for this untimely amendment, and a secretly recorded video by the anti-abortion organization Live Action, between a pregnant woman
and a doctor and counselor at the Family Planning Associates Medical Group at a Phoenix abortion clinic.
Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood, testified against the "strike everything amendment" on the basis of language restricting Medicaid funds — it is unnecessary (unannounced inspections are already provided by law) and illegal under the 2004 9th Circuit decision. It is also unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment.
Howard cited the recent U.S. Supreme Court denial of cert from an Indiana case in which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a law that prevents Medicaid recipients from being reimbursed for health services at Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortions.
Committee Chairmen John Kavanagh referred to the amendment as an "inspection parity" measure to put abortion clinics on the same footing as restaurants and "all other medical providers" such as his dentist. This ignores the holding in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision of Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden that warrantless searches of abortion clinics were a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and could not be inspected without an administrative warrant. Howard patiently explained that unannounced inspections are currently permitted by law if a complainant first obtains an administrative warrant from a judge.
Kavanagh bombastically questioned when did Planned Parenthood, and Democrats, become libertarian in their views on health inspections? According to Kavanagh, abortion clinics should be on the same footing ("Inspection parity") as a McDonald's restaurant. No really, he was emphatic about this point.
Of course Cathi Herrod testified in favor of her own amendment. She was so excited she was breathless in delivering a contravening view of what the law and Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden actually says. A lawyer from Planned Parenthood testified that Herrod's testimony was misleading. Bryan Howard read the decision in Tucson Women’s Clinic v. Eden verbatim to make the point that Herrod's testimony was misleading. He pointed out that the legislature is costing the state money by passing laws that are unconstitutional and having to pay Planned Parenthood attorneys fees and costs in litigation.
The "strike everything amendment" to SB 1069 "poison pill" was approved on a voice vote (7-4) in the Tea-Publican controlled House Appropriation Committee.