Arizona Republicans have heard the call to up the assault on women’s rights and answered with a proposed new law that would give employers the power to request that women prescribed birth control pills provide proof that they are using the pills for non-sexual health reasons. Any employee who was unable to provide such proof–that is, any woman who was using birth control pills and had those pills covered by insurance purely as contraception could be fired by her boss if he or she disapproved.
Republican Debbie Lesko sponsored the bill which made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday by a 6-2 vote. The measure is necessary, she insists, because “”we live in America; we don’t live in the Soviet Union.”
Instead, Lesko is proposing a world where women contribute salary to cover health insurance premiums but still must ask her boss for permission to access health care. And should her boss disapprove of that health care then she risks losing her job over that preference.
It’s hard to imagine the bill making it far. Arizona Republicans will no doubt endorse it, and it may even pass and get a signature of Gov. Jan Brewer (R). But the bill on its face runs right into Title VII protections (not that Arizona has ever shied away from ignoring constitutional federalism principles) and there’s a real question whether employers can compel disclosure of private medical information in the manner the bill contemplates.
That won’t stop Republicans from trying to make it all but impossible for a woman to control her own destiny, though.
Photo from World Can's Wait via flickr.