"Let's not forget why we're having this discussion: It's ObamaCare that created this issue by forcing church-affiliated employers and non-profits to offer services in violation of their religious faith," said Brewer. "With this common sense bill, we can ensure that Arizona women have access to the health services they need and religious institutions have their faith and freedom protected."
Shorter Jan Brewer: Corporations are people too, my friends, and they have religious principles which must not be violated. Individuals? Not so much. You knaves who think you have rights are simply tools of your corporate overlords. There's some right-wing individual liberty-speak for you.
Also, the law expands the definition of an employer covered under this particular exception:
According to the press release from Brewer's office, HB 2625 moderately expands the definition of a "religiously-affiliated employer" to include any organization whose articles of incorporation explicitly state a religiously-motivated purpose, and whose religious beliefs play a fundamental role in its function. It is anticipated that there are few employers who will qualify for this exemption under the bill.
Arizona is among 20 states that allow certain employers to cite a religious-exemption in refusing to offer contraception coverage.
And if you believe that, I've got a pyramid in Scottsdale you can pick up cheap. Every schmucky right-wing man-led corporation is probably rushing to their lawyer's office right now to figure which tenet of Scientology they can adopt in their articles of incorporation to keep women from being slut-whores and daring to use contraception, which by the way, is legal in this country with a doctor's prescription.
In case you'd forgotten about the specifics of this abomination amidst all of the right wing lunacy that's been flying around the country lately, the bill would allow employers to interrogate women about the purpose for which they are using birth control pills. If the fruit of that interrogation revealed the horrible fact that the employee was using birth control pills for—heaven forbid—birth control, she could be fired summarily. For anyone who thinks this is ridiculous and couldn't actually happen, please go re-read Susie Madrak's post about it. I'll clip just a little of it as a refresher:
My immediate supervisor was a young woman named Janice. One morning, while Janice was in the restroom, the department head went rummaging in her purse and found her birth control pills. Instead of talking to her, she called all the editorial clerks and assistants into her department and announced that we were no longer permitted to socialize with the editors, and that we were nothing more than "Jezebels, sluts and whores of Babylon".
In a weak effort to acknowledge the possibility the law could be challenged on privacy violations, the final version includes a provision barring employers from access to HIPAA information, which means absolutely nothing.
Angry Black Lady explains over at Raw Story:
Setting aside the fact that this bill contravenes President Obama’s birth control mandate, and that all women should have access to birth control coverage, how else is a female employee supposed to attest that she seeks contraception coverage for purposes unrelated to birth control without providing her employer private medical information? It’s not possible. Simply tossing in boilerplate language to the legislation does nothing to undo the damage and the grave privacy concerns that this bill poses. Moreover, while the bill makes its way through the Courts, untold number of women will be affected by this horrible legislation. This legislation puts women in the position of choosing either employment or lack of preventive healthcare services. It is nothing short of outrageous.
Hey, Arizona women. No jobs for you, little girls. Just step aside and spread your legs for that nice man who will take care of you and keep you in the manner to which you are accustomed. No jobs, no birth control, no privacy, no dignity, no respect and no contraception.
We live in very strange times. I'm waiting for Brewer to produce a memo from David Addington and John Yoo outlining why employers can waterboard employees to discover their contraception decisions.
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