Arizona House Bill 2625 created by State Representative Debbie Lesko passed outlining that that women who want their birth control pills to be covered by their insurance plans must verify its purpose to be solely for medical reasons and not to prevent pregnancy. The bill grants employers the right to deny female employees coverage based on religious beliefs.
But it doesn’t end there, of course.
Lesko told the state press “My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion. All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.” The very mandate Lesko is talking about was passed in 2002. The Contraceptive Equality Law bans employers from denying birth control coverage based on religion.
Even worse, female employees are losing the right to medical privacy. The new bill forces women to submits a formal claim that must include their medical history. It also gives the employers the right to deny coverage and have women pay full price for the prescription.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this opened the door to a whole new level of discrimination in the workplace regardless of the 2002 mandate.
Planned Parenthood Arizona president Bryan Howard stated “ The bill is part of the assault on women’s health care across the country. This is an attack on women’s health care and their ability to make health care decisions for themselves and their families according to their faith.”
It is infuriating as a woman to see the cheap political ploy of this bill being authored by a woman. It is as if it makes it seem so much more plausible and acceptable to the senate since it wasn’t just coming from a man who wouldn’t know anything about women’s health care.
What do you think about Arizona State Bill 2625? Is it constitutional? Is it a gross invasion of privacy? Or do you think that employers have every right to deny medical coverage based on their religious beliefs?