I swear this isn’t a joke. Instead, it’s an abominable sign of how weirdly polarized America has become. And on one side are the freakishly moralistic voyeurs.
They actually are arguing in favor of a bill in the Arizona legislature that would require women who are on the pill to explain to their bosses why they’re taking it. If it’s for birth control, health insurance coverage would be a no-no.
If it’s for polycystic ovarian syndrome, or another medical condition unrelated to avoiding pregnancy, their health insurance would pay for it, provided they could prove that via a doctor’s note. The legislation is HB 2625.
It has passed the Arizona House, and Wednesday the Arizona Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed this legislation by a vote of 6-2.
Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.
“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” Lesko said. “So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”
Lesko said this bill responds to a contraceptive mandate in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law March 2010.
“My whole legislation is about our First Amendment rights and freedom of religion,” Lesko said. “All my bill does is that an employer can opt out of the mandate if they have any religious objections.”
Here are some moral and commonsense objections to this legislation.
First, what the hell business is it of ANY employer why ANY doctor is prescribing ANY medication to ANY female employee? Seriously. Let’s take the case of acne. It’s malpractice for any doctor to prescribe Retin-A, to clear up acne, to any woman of childbearing age unless she’s on birth control or is otherwise sterile. Doctors know that acne medication will cause severe birth defects. So they will insist on prescribing her the pill at the same time. Why should her employer have to be informed of this?
Second, what if an employer has a moral and/or religious belief that acne is God’s will, and that a woman should not try to interfere with her God-given complexion? After all,” moral and/or religious beliefs” is one hell of a big tent, and there are some weird religions out there. In that case, the bill has a “not-covered” loophole so large that you could pass a Planned Parenthood clinic through it.
Third, not one health-insurance-providing employer in all of Arizona would be required, even without the bill, to “pay for his employees’ birth control” under any circumstance. Actually, at the worst, covering for birth control requires the employer to save money. Because pregnancy and childbearing and maternity leave cost insurance companies and employers much more than birth control does.
That’s how you know this is ALL about employers wanting to know about their female employees’ sex lives.
You can be darn sure that if this bill passes in Arizona, Virginia Del. Bob Marshall or some other so-called morally crusading lawmaker is going to sponsor it in our Virginia General Assembly next year.
America 2012. Ain’t it grand?