My legislation that protects Arizona citizens 1st amendment rights has passed out of the Arizona House of Representatives and Senate Judiciary Committee. Unfortunately, the ACLU and its cohorts are spreading around all kinds of misinformation and some in the media are repeating it.
HB2625 allows employers to opt out of a current government mandate that forces them to cover abortion-inducing drugs and other items related to contraception in their insurance benefits….even if they must violate their religious beliefs to do so. The employer can opt out, IF and only IF, they have a religious objection. I doubt many employers will do this. But I imagine that some faith-based charity organizations, like St. Vincent De Paul, or some mom and pop employers might because providing them is against their religious beliefs.
HB2625 does NOT authorize employers to ask or know about employees contraceptive use.
HB2625 does NOT authorize employers to fire employees for using contraceptives.
HB2625 DOES allow employees who work at the few employers that will actually opt out, to purchase contraceptives outside of their insurance plan. Walmart sells generic contraceptives for $9/month, which is probably cheaper than most insurance co-pays to begin with.
Ironically, most of the controversy surrounding my legislation focuses on language already in Arizona law, that was not even introduced by me. It allows women who work for a religious employer to still get the prescriptions paid for through insurance if they are used for a purpose other than contraception. In those cases, the insurance company, NOT the employer would know this information. The ironic thing, is that language has been in Arizona law for 10 years and was not introduced by me. In fact, whether my legislation passes or not, that will still be Arizona law.
My legislation is supported by the Catholic church and other faith-based organizations. It was written with the help of a national legal organization that fights for religious freedoms…The Alliance Defense Fund.
Government should not be mandating people to do something against their religious beliefs. That violates their 1st Amendment rights and is Un-American. We must protect our 1st amendment right to freedom of religion. The future of America is at stake.