Gov. Brewer Signs ‘Tell Your Boss You’re On The Pill’ Bill

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed into law a bill that allows employers who designate themselves “religiously affiliated” to exclude contraception coverage in any employee health benefits plan. The bill had appeared dead in committee, but was revived and passed based on what proponents describe as “narrower” language but that has, essentially the same impact once implemented.

The result is that employers will now have the ability to interrogate employees on whether or not they use prescription birth control and if so, why.

“In its final form, this bill is about nothing more than preserving religious freedom to which were all constitutionally entitled,” Brewer said in a prepared statement. “Mandating that a religious institution provide a service in direct contradiction with its faith would represent an obvious encroachment upon the First Amendment.”

The bill provides no protection to women who may be fired as a result of disclosing to their employer that they take prescription birth control pills.

Brewer’s decision to sign the bill was immediately praised by the Arizona Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s five bishops. “HB 2625 will be very helpful in protecting religious liberty for religious affiliated employers who have an objection to abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives,” the statement reads.

The measure does require all companies to pay for contraceptive drugs if they are being used for a reason other than birth control. But that requires a woman to first pay for the prescription and then provide proof of the medical reason to the employer’s insurance company.

The move once again places the state in direct conflict with the federal government and the contraception mandate from Health and Human Services which currently faces several legal challenges. Should the mandate be upheld then the Arizona law will fail. If the federal mandate fails, then Brewer’s bill will stand and women in Arizona will have benefits discrimination as the law of the state with no available means to stop employers from abusing the exception.

Related Stories:

On The Pill? Arizona GOP Think That Should Cost You Your Job

Arizona’s Tell Your Boss You’re On The Pill Bill Dead

Photo from Mike Licht, via flickr.


Terri Lynn M.
Terri M4 years ago

It is one thing to say that a religious institution not pay for contraceptives but is a very different thing to be able to interrogate employees as to whether they can demand to if you use birth control you pay for yourself. That is invasion and an intrusion into the right of privacy. If asked, I could only answer- "That is none of your business." If they are not paying for it, what business is it of theirs. This might well bring consequences the conservative Christian Republican Taliban had not expected since the law gives employers the right to not pay for any procedure they disagree with. Imagine that you develop lung cancer,. You never smoked but your employer presumes you did and disapproves of smoking so refuses to cover your chemo and surgery. Likewise, the new boss is a vegan and refuses to pay for any coronary artery disease expenses, any colon cancer treatment, or to have your arteries unclogged on the presumption that you ate dead animals and brought this on yourself. The new CEO of your company follows Christian Science. Uh oh. All the company will pay for now is for you to go see a Christian Science practitioner and get prayed over. Do you see how this can lead to people DYING or suffering with no treatment because the individual who owns or runs the company has certain beliefs he or she wants to force on you?

Sue H.
.4 years ago

Doesn't your constitution say that all people are created equal? Therefore all people should be treated equally. Where is a persons right to privacy in all this nonsense?

Karen Howard
Karen H5 years ago

If a gay person's partner doesn't have the right to access his/her medical records (because s/he isn't "family"), how can an emloyer have that right?

Richard Lares
Richard Lares5 years ago

WTH so much for HIPPA
Do as you want the law does not apply

Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas5 years ago

steve r. one more thing, it is obvious that nobody has forced evolution on you. you haven't evolved as a human. you are proof of devolution, you are proof of that the devolved species that anthropologists call HOMO IGNORAMUS does exist.

Read more:

Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

What part of the HIPPA Act do these morons fail to grasp?

Not only that, it's nobody's business but her OWN why a woman uses contraception. Not her husband's/boyfriend's, not her parents, not her clergy, and DEFINITELY not her boss!

And if I lived in Arizona, used contraception, and had my boss get all up in my face like that about why I used it, I'd be more than happy to tell him or her as much!

Donald T.
Donald T5 years ago

Brewer is in the camp with Engle. They are over the hill lost old broads with no need for female health issues. Therefore, no woman has any health issues. Ergo, no problem, no worries. Boy was that simple. Just like the National Review republican crap that declared poverty no longer exists in this country. Boy am I relieved. No more poverty. Yeah. American Exceptionalism. Boy are we stupid or what?