And the controversy over a woman’s right to obtain birth control from her health insurance continues. Except this time it’s not Rush Limbaugh or any other man making the ridiculous statement of the day–it’s a woman. That’s right, Arizona Republican, Debbie Lesko says that employers should have the right to pry into our sexual lives and ask exactly why we use birth control. What’s worse, employers could potentially fire a woman using birth control for non-medical reasons.
Apparently, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-2 this week to endorse a controversial bill that would allow Arizona employers the right to deny health insurance coverage for contraceptives based on religious objections. Yes, that debate is nothing new. However, Lesko went so far as to propose that employers should have the right to ask their employees for proof of a medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment. In other words, employers should be able to delve into their employee’s personal medical and sexual lives and demand proof that these pills are being used for non-sexual reasons.
The Arizona Republican actually said she believes this is about freedom:
I believe we live in America. 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.
True, the government shouldn’t be interfering with our personal lives on many accounts (like telling us how many kids we can have), but neither should employers. The last thing women want is to have their boss asking nosy questions about their medical and sex life. That’s just creepy.
Nevertheless, Lesko went on to say it’s all about protecting the rights of religious organizations:
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.
OK, well how about protecting the rights to medical privacy? What about the rights to practice whatever religious beliefs that someone wants without being penalized by their employer? And what about the rights to providing equal health care coverage to everyone and not deny that to a woman simply because she wants to control what happens to her body? This bill violates so many issues, it’s hard to imagine that it would ever get passed.
Glendale resident, Liza Love, spoke to the committee about her struggle with polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, conditions requiring her to use birth control. She said the bill would impose on women’s rights to keep their medical records private.
I wouldn’t mind showing my employer my medical records. But there are 10 women behind me that would be ashamed to do so.
And, as expected, Planned Parenthood concurs. The Arizona chapter’s president, Bryan Howard, said he opposes any bill which goes against the accessibility of women’s health care.
The bill is part of the assault on women’s health care across the country.
Agreed. And what’s even worse is the fact that some fear employees could be fired over their use of birth control because Arizona is an at-will state, meaning people can theoretically be fired for anything at any time, as long as it’s not illegal. Oh, geez.
Tell us if you agree or disagree with this proposed bill.