GOP War on Women Begets Appalling Arizona State Bill

A bill in the Arizona House would create conditions allowing an employer to fire a female worker for using birth control.

Arizona House Bill 2625, authored by Majority Whip Debbie Lesko, R-Glendale, would permit employers to ask their employees for proof of medical prescription if they seek contraceptives for non-reproductive purposes, such as hormone control or acne treatment.

Arizona is a “right to work” state with at-will employment, meaning that an employer can fire someone without saying why. Based upon these rules, it would be possible for a nosy boss to fire someone for refusing to share her private medical information. Rep. Lesko said she sponsored the law because “we don’t live in the Soviet Union.”

Women’s blog Jezebel reminisced about the Evil Empire:

Ah, yes, the Soviet Union. The sort of place where a woman might think about getting birth control through an insurance plan to which she contributes premiums without having to show her boss her prescription in order to prove that she wasn’t using it to not get pregnant. The Soviet Union. A hellscape where women don’t run the risk of losing their jobs over their sexual practices.

A new poll finds that 77% of Americans reject the notion that employer control over a worker’s contraception is a freedom of religion issue. Lesko’s bill would violate a ton of privacy and doctor-patient confidentiality laws. Bosses are more likely to be men and therefore not need contraception for themselves.

Even after the U.S. Senate’s humiliating defeat of the Blunt Amendment, the Republicans continue to overreach in their misguided war on women’s health.