From the AZCentral.com's Political Insider, written by Alia Beard Rau -
A Democratic news conference to decry legislation allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception degraded into name-calling from both parties Wednesday morning.
Democrat lawmakers from both the House and Senate organized the news conference to talk about House Bill 2625.
Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, called the bill "asinine" and described Republican lawmakers supporting the bill as "Rush Limbaugh Republicans" with "fundamentalist, Taliban-like religious beliefs."
"Tea party Republicans are launching an all-out attack on women's health and women's rights," Lopez said. "We need to quit wasting time legislating their version of morality."
"The most disturbing part of this is having to get permission and give personal medical information to your employer," said Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson, a physician.
But bill sponsor Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, standing at the back of the news conference, called them "liars."
After the Democrats were done with their media conference, Lesko and Center for Arizona Policy attorney Deborah Sheasby hijacked the microphone. The Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative lobby and education group, is behind the bill.
I don't have much to add to this (face it, nothing I write can top the sheer insanity that *is* the Republican caucus in the Arizona legislature), but a friend who is wiser than I am made a suggestion:
If this bill becomes law, someone from her district should make a request to see her medical records to find out if she is using any sort of birth control and if so, verify that it isn't being taken to prevent pregnancy.
They'll (meaning the Rs) will argue about it, but the bottom line is that they are hired/fired by their constituents, they are paid out of their constituents' (and all of our) tax money, and their authority to make laws is derived from their constituents' consent. The bottom line is that state legislators work for their constituents, whether or not they choose to acknowledge that fact after taking office.
Of course, they could argue that they are above the laws that apply to the rest of society.
Which might be even more fun than watching them and their law getting slapped down in court.
Channel 12 video of the presser is here.
The bill in question is HB2625, and the section of the bill that has created the national uproar is thus -
A corporation, employer, sponsor, issuer or other entity offering the plan may state religious beliefs or moral convictions in its affidavit that require the subscriber to first pay for the prescription and then submit a claim to the corporation along with evidence that the prescription is not in whole or in part for a purpose covered by the objection. A corporation may charge an administrative fee for handling these claims.