Last week Missouri picked up where Arizona left off, tackling two anti-women’s health bills, including one that would allow employers to deny coverage for birth control pills unless employees provide proof the pills are used for a “medical need.”
Missouri Republicans strongly believe that employers should be the ones left in charge of determining what health care benefits employees are eligible for. Sen. John Lamping, the bill’s sponsor made this point very clear. “In my opinion, employers today have the right to offer whatever benefits they want,” he said.
The group has the strong support of religious organizations, but not quite the same enthusiastic support from the state’s women.
The other bill working its way through the Missouri legislature would greatly expand the “conscious clause” exception by shielding health care workers from participating in any medical procedure that conflicts with their conscience.
Republicans insist this is an issue of religious freedom while state Democrats point out that the only freedom being impeded is a woman’s freedom to control her own body.
The contraception bill must be voted on by the House of Representatives yet while the conscious clause exception has already passed the House and is now on its way to the Senate for consideration.
Photo from Phillip Pessar via flickr.
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