It's unfortunately a regular weekend occurrence—by now as reliable as waking up hungover and popping Advil and lying in bed watching Law & Order reruns until 2 PM—to find that Arizona governor Jan Brewer has signed yet another anti-lady bill into law with the blood of a kitten as ink. Seriously, it sucks.
This week is no different. After signing the one that cut state funding for Planned Parenthood, and the week before that, another one that slapped a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, yesterday Brewer followed through on her plan to relax the state's requirement for health plans to cover contraception so that employers who consider themselves religiously-affiliated don't have to like, break religion laws or whatever. Awesome.
Brewer's got her "Don't Tread On Me" states-rights flags a-flying in the face of the previously instated Obamacare mandate that dictates that all employers, regardless of spiritual affiliation, must provide federal healthcare coverage, including contraception. Brewer's statement:
"In its final form, this bill is about nothing more than preserving the religious freedom to which we are all constitutionally entitled... Mandating that a religious institution provide a service in direct contradiction with its faith would represent an obvious encroachment upon the First Amendment. 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."
This is actually a slightly tweaked 10-year-old piece of legislation that originally allowed any employer to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, which was too extreme to pass. So this version's opt-out was narrowed down to church-affiliated hospitals, charities and nonprofits, although those who oppose the bill argue that any secular organization can simply change their business records to be able to opt out.
'Brewer signs Ariz. bill on contraception coverage' [Real Clear Politics]