On March 13, 2012 the Arizona State House Judiciary committee endorsed, by a vote of 6-2, Arizona House Bill 2625. This bill would “permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes (ThinkProgress.org)”. Yes, you read that right. The AZ State House wants you to have to show your employer a doctor’s note to prove that you aren’t using birth control for “immoral purposes”.
Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, argues that this bill is about First Amendment rights and the freedom of religion. She is wrong. This bill is about subjugating women and depriving them of their right to control their body. The attempt to frame the discussion as a “war on religion” belittles, degrades, and dismisses women and those who realize that women are autonomous beings who are capable to making their own health care decisions. This is a war on women. Anyone who claims otherwise is simply using religion to push their private beliefs on the millions of American adult women who routinely use birth control.
UPDATE: Rep Debbie Lesko has stated on her Facebook page that "HB2625 does NOT allow employers to ask employees if they use contraceptives" and "HB2625 allows employers to opt out of a current government mandate". However, all the new articles I have read state that AZ HB 2625 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. Rep Lesko wants women to prove that they are not using birth control for reproductive control. She wants to enable employers to decided if and when birth control should be covered. She wants to enable employers to say "Yes, I will let your insurance cover your birth control.....but only if you can prove that you are using it for health reasons". Last I knew......not getting pregnant was a health reason!!
I will no longer stand for it. I am a person, not a legislative issue. I am capable of thinking for myself and making my own decisions about my life. I am in control. Your mothers, your sisters, your friends, your daughters, and your partners deserve respect. Their decisions deserve respect.
I ask that Arizona reject HB 2625 and quit waging war on women. Today.