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Updated Mar 12, 2014 - 6:16 am

Arizona abortion clinic search bill to get hearing

PHOENIX (AP) — A bill in the Arizona Legislature to allow surprise inspections of abortion clinics is set for its first Senate hearing.

The bill has been described by supporters as a vital tool for health inspectors, who now must get a warrant to make unannounced searches of abortion providers.

But the Arizona Department of Health Services has sought only one abortion clinic search warrant in the past four years. It happened just days before the bill was heard in the House of Representatives last month.

The warrant was prompted by a low-priority report filed nearly 11 months ago. Critics believe it was sought to help sell the proposal to lawmakers.

House Bill 2284 passed the House last week. It's due to be heard by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday.

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