The debate over contraception continues as Arizona lawmakers work on a bill that would let employers ask women if they use contraception. The bill would also allow employers to deny contraception coverage. Women who use it for other health reasons would be required to explain it to their employers. Arizona already has a law allowing religious employers to deny the coverage for moral reasons. This bill expands that right to all businesses.
This story got us talking about women's rights, so we brought in experts to examine the issue in detail. We brought in two experts Wednesday on WFMY News 2 at 5.
Dr. Teresa Bratton is with the League of Women Voters. She told us that the League believes women "should have pre-natal and reproductive care as part of their primary health coverage."
Dr. Bratton says women are the majority of voters, and the majority of women use contraception at some point in their life. She says not covering contraception is a denial of medical coverage and increases medical costs. She thinks this will anger women voters, and they'll let candidates know at the polls.
We also spoke with Dr. Melvin Seid from Lyndhurst Gynecological Associates. He pointed out that contraception is used for more purposes than preventing pregnancy such as regulating their menstrual cycles. They can also be used to prevent or reduce acne.
Dr. Seid says women of all ages are impacted. "Young women might be using it for their acne and control of their cycles, but older women who are closer to menopause oftentimes are using birth control pills for things like control of menopausal symptoms," he said.