News Contraception

Arizona Senate Rejects Bill Allowing Employers to Deny Contraceptive Coverage

Robin Marty

A handful of Republicans bucked their party to defeat the bill.

Arizona Republicans caused an uproar when they proposed a bill that would force women to explain to their employers why they needed birth control so the employer could choose whether or not to allow include insurance coverage of contraception. The final bill, which was defeated on a 17 to 13 vote.

The bill, which was styled after the “Blunt Amendment” would allow all employers — not just those of religious institutions — to object to insurance coverage of contraception if the employer found birth control “morally objectionable.”  Eight Republicans joined nine Democrats in voting it down, including Republican State Sen. Jerry Lewis, who told the Washington Post, “I’m all for religious freedom. I’m for all kinds of freedom, but not at the expense of others.”

Arizona still has a 20-week abortion ban that need to be approved by the House, as well as a law allowing doctors to be shielded from malpractice suits if they don’t disclose fetal abnormalities or other problems with a pregnancy that might, in their view, lead a woman to consider abortion.

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