PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Senate has given initial approval to a bill allowing surprise inspections of abortion clinics without a search warrant.
Wednesday's voice vote means House Bill 2284 needs only requires a formal vote before heading to Gov. Jan Brewer. The bill has already passed the House.
Majority Republicans say the proposal is needed to ensure that abortion clinics can be inspected without delays that come from needing to obtain a search warrant.
Democrats argued removing the warrant requirement that has been in place for years as part of a lawsuit settlement would open clinics to harassment by unfriendly regulators. It also could open the state to even more lawsuits over its abortion rules.
They also say it is unnecessary, with only one warrant issued in the past four years.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Senate backs snap inspections of abortion clinicsMore>>