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Arizona Senate to Vote on Proposed Birth Control Bill


An unprecedented bill has been advanced by Arizona lawmakers that would make it a law to have women prove to their employers that their contraception is being taken to treat medical problems if they want the contraception covered by health insurance. The bill, if signed into law, would make it easier for an employer in Arizona to fire a woman who is using contraception for pregnancy prevention even though the employer might morally object to the idea.


The House of Representatives passed House Bill 2625 in early March and was endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday of this week. The bill repeals the current law and allows employers to refuse to cover an employee’s contraception use via health insurance. Should a woman want to have the contraception covered under health insurance she would need to submit a claim that proves it is being used for a condition such as endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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“The bill goes beyond guaranteeing a person’s rights to express and practice their faith,” Anjali Abraham, a lobbyist for the ACLU said. “And instead it lets employers prioritize their beliefs over the beliefs, the interests, the needs of their employees, in this case, particularly, female employees.”


The bill’s sponsor said that the goal of the bill is to protect the right to religious liberty from the First Amendment.


“I believe we live in America,” Majority Whip Debbie Lesko (R-Glendale) said. Lesko sponsored the bill originally. “We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom-and-pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”


The bill proposed by Lesko is different from other bills proposed in the state and across the country as it differentiates between birth control that is being used for pregnancy prevention and birth control that is being used for medical reasons. Should the bill become a law, women will have to share personal medical information, which at times could be embarrassing, with their employers in an effort to get the prescription for the birth control covered by health insurance.


A resident from Glendale, Arizona, Lisa Love, was able to testify in front of the committee regarding her polycystic ovarian syndrome so she could prove to the committee how private some of these issues can be for women.


“I wouldn’t mind showing my employer my medical records,” she said, “but there are ten women behind me that would be ashamed to do so.”


The bill will now hit the Senate floor for a full vote.

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Posted by on March 14, 2012. Filed under Breaking News,Home,Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • John B.

    What a contourted use of the First Amendment and religious freedom.

    For Father Muir, Ryan McCarthy and the rest of the Arizona’a Judiciary Committee, let me ask this:

    Can an employer fire an employee who is disabled?
    Can an employer fire an employee who is gay?
    Can an employer fire an employee who is over weight?
    I would hope the answer is no.

    What is the employer is a Democrat and fires an employee because they learn they are Republican?

    Religion should not be a condition of employment unless it is stated upfront and critical for the job. Your employer should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on an employee. They can choose not to provide health insurance to all their employees, or pick an insurance with only limited coverage – again for all employees, but they should NOT be able to single out an individual employee for their beliefs and certainly their choices in regards to their personal health – just because it is not what they would do.

    What’s next? Allowing an employer to fire an employee for sleeping with someone before marriage? What about allowing a male to be fired for having a vascetomy unless they can proof its for “medical” reasons versus sexual ones? Well, as long as we don’t put any restrictions on lobotomies in Arizona – beause I truly believe anyone who actually believes giving the employer the first to impose their religious beliefs on a single employee (unrelated to their job) falls under the protection of the First Amemdment – as opposed to protecting the rights of the individual under the First Amendment – well, basically should get one! Ms. Lesko….this is as un-American as it gets!

  • Danny Haszard

    Religions need to adapt and accommodate.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses blood transfusion confusion

    Jehovahs Witnesses take blood products now in 2012.
    They take all fractions of blood.This includes hemoglobin, albumin, clotting factors, cryosupernatant and cryopoor too, and many, many, others.
    If one adds up all the blood fractions the JWs takes, it equals a whole unit of blood. Any, many of these fractions are made from thousands upon thousands of units of donated blood.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses can take Bovine *cows blood* as long as it is euphemistically called synthetic Hemopure.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses now accept every fraction of blood except the membrane of the red blood cell. JWs now accept blood transfusions.
    The fact that the JW blood issue is so unclear is downright dangerous in the emergency room.

    Danny Haszard