Whose Mandating Whom?

April 10, 2012 by  

HB 2625 is ground zero in the battle for religious liberty in Arizona – pushing back against the Obamacare mandate forcing employers to provide contraceptives even if it violates their religious beliefs.  HB 2625 exempts religiously affiliated organizations from the insurance mandate.

Liberal Democrats and Planned Parenthood claim it wages “war on women” and makes Arizona the most hostile state in the nation for reproductive rights.  Really?

While the hyperbole may drive their fundraising efforts, it not only denies the source of the controversy but distorts the bill itself.

The truth is, 22 states do not mandate contraception coverage at all. In fact, HB 2625  places Arizona closer to the mainstream when compared to other states’ exemptions because nearly every other state with a contraception mandate provides a broader religious exemption than Arizona.  Even with the bill’s passage states like Illinois and Missouri’s religious exemptions are still broader than Arizona. 

The distortions don’t stop there though.    Here are some other mythbusters.…

“How can the party of less government and less intrusion into people’s lives intrude into women’s personal, medical, economic and relationship issues?”

  • HB 2625 IS less government.  It expands rights – it doesn’t deny them – by eliminating a government mandate on religious employers.  And employer

“Does HB 2625 deny women the use of contraceptives and wage a “war on women”?

  • No. This bill simply says that an employer can’t be forced to pay for contraceptives if it violates their religious beliefs. In our free market system, women have options to access contraception.
  • In regards to Planned Parenthood’s over-the-top campaign slogan – as a woman I’m not too keen on waging a war on myself.   But if you want to find a real war on women, one doesn’t need to look much further than your local Planned Parenthood, where the lives of innocent preborn “women” are in the crosshairs each day – some extinguished simply for not being male.

“Does the legislature have a problem with contraception?”

  • This isn’t about whether Legislators personally believe birth control is okay or not.  In fact, neither the sponsor of the bill nor I is Catholic.  However, we recognize the religious liberties of Catholic employers are being disregarded by the mandate and if not challenged, it sets a precedent that could lead to further intrusion upon religious employers’ rights.

“What if my employer happens to be a Jehovah’s Witness?  Does that mean my employer’s health insurance can refuse to pay for a blood transfusion?”

  • Interestingly, not even life-saving blood transfusions are mandated by the state.  If a more expensive and potentially lifesaving medical service is not mandated, it begs the question as to why the government considers abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and inexpensive contraceptives “preventive” health care and mandates their provision by employers who object on religious grounds.

“Would this bill require employees to provide personal health information about use of contraceptives to their employers?”

  • Absolutely not.   Employers have not had access to personal health information from the beginning, yet in their effort to cause hysteria amongst female voters, Planned Parenthood promoted this misinformation.  To leave no doubt, however, bill amendments clarified that employees cannot be forced to disclose medical information to their employers.  Employers did not have access to PHI before and this bill will not change that.

“This bill singles out women. Why not limit men’s “erectile dysfunction” medication as well?

  • Arizona does not mandate coverage for ED medication, but it does mandate contraception coverage.

“The current religious exemption is good enough.  Why do we need this change?”

  • The current exemption is written so narrowly, it only applies to churches.  Under current law even Jesus wouldn’t qualify for the exemption because he served people of all faiths, not just those of His own faith.  HB 2625 provides a meaningful exemption for religious employers that the Federal government would be wise to emulate.

Read: Catholic Institutions sue to stop Obamacare’s Religious Liberty Violation

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