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Arizona Law Could Allow Employers to Fire Workers for Using Birth Control

Posted: Mar 14, 2012

 Arizona’s HB 2625 is a radical proposal that would allow employers to claim they have the right to fire employees for using birth control, according to an ACLU petition recently circulated. The bill, which would also allow employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sailed right through the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.

This bill has already made it through the House side and now is advancing on the Senate side.

“I personally don’t have a moral objection to contraceptives but I respect the people that do,” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R, District 9), who introduced House Bill 2625, told AZFamily.com. “House Bill 2625 allows Arizona employers to opt out of the contraceptive mandate if they have a religious or moral objection”

“Elected officials are playing politics with women’s health,” ACLU of Arizona Public Policy Director Anjali Abraham said in a statement. “These efforts to take away existing protections for women’s basic health services will ultimately hurt Arizona women and, by extension, Arizona families.”

The ACLU of Arizona says it apposes the bill because it violates a woman’s right to privacy:

The ACLU is opposed to the bill because it allows employers to impose their religious beliefs on their female employees and deny them access to important health care in the process, eliminates an existing anti-discrimination law that prevents employers from discriminating against women who independently obtain contraception from another source, and violates women’s privacy by forcing them to prove that they’re using contraception to treat a “non-objectionable” medical condition, such as endometriosis, in order to get coverage. Even in those limited circumstances involving medical conditions, women would still have to pay out of pocket for their medications.

Senate and House attorneys have found no such violation of privacy, according to AZFamily.com.

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