Arizona Republicans lost an effort to force women to explain to their employers why they need and use birth control so that their employer could chose whether or not to allow insurance coverage for that contraception.
The final bill was defeated on a 17-13 vote but not without causing significant controversy nationwide.
The bill functioned as a state version of the Blunt Amendment, the federal proposal that would allow any employer, not just religious institutions, to object to insurance coverage of any medical condition on the grounds they found coverage “morally objectionable”. It represents a distorted and dangerous mis-application of First Amendment principles and Republicans are showing no signs of abandoning this line of reasoning any time soon.
Eight Republicans joined the nine Democrats in voting down the bill.
While this is a good step for Arizona women the legislature still has a 20-week abortion ban waiting for House approval as well as a medical malpractice shield that would protect doctors if they lie to women about fetal abnormalities in an attempt to dissuade them from seeking an abortion.
Thanks to the over 1,000 Care2 members who signed the petition against this bill.
Photo from M.Markus via flickr.