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PHOENIX -- An Arizona House panel has advanced a measure allowing surprise inspections of abortion clinics.

The Reform and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 2284 by Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Peoria on a 5-3 party-line vote Thursday.

The bill backed by the anti-abortion group Center for Arizona Policy eliminates a requirement that the Department of Health Services obtain an administrative warrant to conduct unscheduled inspections at the state's nine licensed abortion clinics.

The bill is opposed by Democrats and Planned Parenthood of Arizona. Its president testified that federal courts have said snap inspections at the state's abortion clinics are not legal and warned of huge legal costs if the bill passes.

Lesko said all other medical facilities are subject to surprise inspections and abortion clinics should be no different.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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