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. 

Commentarium (12 Comments)

Mar 16 12 - 12:59pm
Gutless Wonder

"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. "

While I can see the validity of the comparison, considering that the GOP treats women as immoral idiots, too incompetent and evil to make their own healthcare decisions, the fact this affects white women and a very strong and well-established privacy law in HIPAA will probably make the difference.

Mar 16 12 - 1:25pm

can we all collectively encourage and allow Arizona to secede!

Mar 16 12 - 2:04pm

As long as they take Tex-ass and Okiehomie with them.
SXSW will just have to move.

Mar 16 12 - 5:18pm

Holding up Cuba as the bastion of AIDS education is laughable.

It was widely reported that AIDS sufferers in Cuba were "quarantined" or more accurately imprisoned because of their disease.

Somehow reducing the spread of AIDS by segregating those suffering the disease is your example of human rights.

It's like you have no idea of history prior to 1995.

Mar 16 12 - 5:19pm

So, as long as they don't ask why I'm taking Viagra and as long as my employers insurance covers that.

Mar 16 12 - 10:07pm

I have another explanation, actually. The people actually tracking HIV's path from Africa to the United States says it came via Haiti in the late 1950s. At that point, who in the right mind would leave Haiti to go to Cuba? Cuba didn't have nearly as much draw for immigrants and after Castro's ascendency, even less draw for tourists or anything. Less exposure = fewer people with HIV.

Mar 16 12 - 10:14pm

Look. The bill is pure slut-shaming at its absolute worst, but Arizona is an at-will employment state. You could've stopped there. Arizona employers don't need this law to pass for them to be able to fire women for having sex. They can do it now. They can fire them because the sky is blue. They can fire them for a good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all, at least until it runs afowl of employment discrimination laws.

Mar 19 12 - 2:51am

Actually, I looked at the actual wording of the law they were changing. There was a specific section that said it was discriminatory for an employer to fire someone over their birth control choices. That part is now striked out. So yes, before it was illegal to fire someone over birth control but they're planning to put an end to that. Of course, that didn't stop employers from making up other reasons or no reasons at all if they felt like it....but it says a lot that the lawmakers decided to add that it would be legal to fire for the birth control reason alone.

Mar 17 12 - 5:02pm

Shouldn't Arizona be thinking about passing a law concerning how women dress??? I mean, its not right for us males, to be involuntarily inflicted by the temptations of tight t-shirts and short skirts. Surely that kind of dress leads to immoral behaviour, doesn't it. I know that Muslim burpa stuff is wrong. Our women should all be wearing nice long skirts, flat shoes, full sleeves and a nice bonnet. If there is a law against sexual temptation, then there will be a lot less immoral, pre-marriage, outside of the bedroom, not in missionary position, not between the hours of 9pm and 11pm sex? These guys (is Lesko a guy? - Debbie's a strange name for a guy) need to really take their responsibility for protecting us a lot more seriously.

Mar 17 12 - 9:21pm

Well, both the headline and the thrust of the piece are simply false and misleading. This proposed amendment to existing law allows an employer to opt out of insurance coverage of contraceptives/birth control based on religious grounds. The proposed law says that if an employee has a medical reason - as opposed to birth control - for, say, hormones/bc pills, they need to provide some evidence of the medical need. A reading of the text of the proposed law would suggest that nothing more than a prescription or note from a doctor stating "The purpose is not birth control" would suffice. There's nothing about disclosing medical records or personal medical conditions, nothing about sex, etc.

If you have to resort to such BS tripe to make your point, then maybe your position isn't that strong. There is no constitutional right to free birth control. There is a constitutional right to freely practice your religion. No one says women can't have access to birth control. The argument is that religious objection to bc is a sufficient basis to excuse a statutory requirement for contraceptives to be included in insurance plans. Nothing more.

Mar 21 12 - 4:11pm

So you're good with forcing Americans to obey Biblical laws but not so good with laws based on the Koran? Is that what I'm hearing? So tell me, when do we make adultery a criminal offense? How about divorce? And let's not forget homosexuality. At what point to we completely ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ and the U.S. Constitution when it comes to keeping religion out of government and government out of religion?

Mar 18 12 - 4:15pm

I got news for you - you can already get fired for having sex. I got caught balls deep in an admin assistant bent over a meeting room table and we both got fired!