Photo: Flickr / notemily
Debates like this just won’t be going away any time soon.In the Arizona Legislature, Majority Whip Debbie Lesko introduced a bill that “would allow employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment” according to a report in The State Press.
Basically, Lesko is responding to the national debate about a federal mandate that all employers–even religiously affiliated ones–have to provide co-pay free insurance coverage for birth control to their employees.
She wants employers to have the freedom to not cover things they object to morally.
“My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion,” Lesko said. “All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.”
Because Arizona is an “at-will” employment state, some are saying this amounts to a bill giving employers licence to fire their employees for using birth control.
Currently, many employers do have an arrangement like this, where Catholic or other religiously affiliated employers self-insure their employees, and only cover birth control pills for non-birth control reasons. This bill would effectively extend those rights to all employers.
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