AZ Governor Signs Law Expanding Birth Control Coverage Exemption
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a law on Friday that expands an exemption to a state law that requires employers to include birth control coverage in their health plans' coverage of prescription medication. Under a law passed in Arizona in 2002, employers' health plans must include contraception coverage if the plans cover prescriptions, unless the employer is a church. Under the new exemption signed by Brewer, any employer that identifies as "religiously affiliated" will not have to cover birth control.
Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona said that "this is only the latest of the numerous bills the governor has signed that restrict women's access to preventative health care, taking personal medical decisions away from women and handing them over to politicians."
The original version of the bill included an exemption for any employer who has a religious objection to birth control. The version signed by Brewer applies only to organizations with articles of incorporation that "clearly state that it is a religiously motivated organization and whose religious beliefs are central to the organization's operating principles." Lawmakers still concede that "the language is not airtight" and employers could declare themselves religiously affiliated in order to evade the mandate, according to the Arizona Star.
Media Resources: Arizona Star 5/12/12; Associated Press 5/12/12
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .