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Oh, Arizona. Home of red rock canyons, racist immigration laws, and now this gem: a newly proposed law that would require women prove to their employers that they're taking birth control for non-sexual reasons.
No, you're not wearing your nineteenth-century time-travel cap (which is totally a thing) — you read that right. It's quite simple, actually. Arizona wants to make sure that women who take birth control are using it for legitimate health reasons like controlling irregular periods or acne. Which is different than taking the pill for frivolous health reasons, like preventing unintended pregnancy.
And best part of the proposed law? Because Arizona is an at-will employment state, the proposed law would mean bosses could fire female employees if they believe they're lying to them about their reasons for taking birth control.
This week, a Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed HB2625 by a 6-2 vote. The bill's author, Republican Debbie Lesko, said this really comes down to freedom. Yes, the freedom to have your boss fire you for possibly having sex. (The 69th Amendment, I believe.) After all, as Majority Whip Lesko said, "We live in America; we don't live in the Soviet Union."
You're right, Lesko. We don't live in the Soviet Union. Because despite your better efforts, we don't live in an antiquated universe where the Soviet Union even exists. And furthermore, having lived in Cuba for a little bit, I can tell you we'd all be better off when it comes to sexual health if we did live in a Communist country, because in Cuba, birth control is free and widely available. I once went to a condom party, where kids blew them up like balloons and were educated about AIDS awareness. As a not-so-coincidental result, UNICEF's latest numbers show HIV prevalence is at .1% in the country.
In the U.S., the teen pregnancy rate has dropped significantly in the last twenty years thanks to things like sex education and birth control. In 2006, only sixty-eight out of every 1,000 teens got pregnant in the U.S. In Cuba, where sex-ed and contraception have been a staple part of the culture since the Revolution, only fifty out of every 1,000 teens get pregnant. And we're talking about a economically struggling, Latin American country.
But I digress. Back to our free state, where lawmakers are allowed to propose transvaginal rape and the workplace monitoring of our sex lives. It's unlikely HB2625 will pass, since it violates privacy laws, not to mention all reason. But then again, so does being able to randomly stop any brown person and demand proof of their citizenship.