Birth control legislation probes women’s rights

TEMP ORARY April 20, 2012 0

One of the great things about America is that its citizens possess the liberty to forge their own moral codes. However, a new healthcare bill threatens the moral rights of working women in Arizona.

The bill, proposed by Arizona House Republican Debbie Lesko, would enable employers to judge if a woman’s use of birth control is moral by their standards, not by the woman’s. Company leaders would have the authority to review the medical records of female employees to determine why they are taking contraceptives. If a woman is taking birth control to prevent pregnancy, Arizona businessmen with moral qualms can choose not to cover the insurance cost of contraceptive products.

Lesko argues that her bill is battling for the religious rights of employers. In her point of view, employers should have the liberty to refuse to cover the insurance cost of contraceptives if it violates their moral or religious values.

However, this bill would violate a woman’s right to privacy. On the professional level, the sex lives of employees are private matters. In addition, different women may have different agendas for their families. If this includes utilizing contraceptives to ensure that pregnancy occurs at an ideal time, that decision is a woman’s prerogative. Both of these social elements should be protected by an individual’s right to privacy.

A woman’s decision regarding contraceptives is also threatened by the Arizona State Employment Policy. According to an article by Annie-Rose Strasser published on thinkprogress.org, women who refuse to show their employers their medical records in order to allow their bosses to evaluate their use of contraceptives could be terminated.

This is because Arizona has an at-will employment policy. This means that if there is no expressed contract between employer and employee, either party can sever the relationship without any liability. In other words, an employer can terminate an employee with good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.

Furthermore, employers should not have the ability to dictate the private moral practices of their employees. These practices have no bearing upon company business, and therefore do not concern employers. In addition, America is a melting pot of moral codes. It is not acceptable for one moral code to homogenize the moral spectrum and affect the moral practices of others.

Additionally, women should have the right to choose what is right for their bodies. Women have a precious gift which men do not possess — they are capable of bearing life. The intricate network of systems which characterize humankind are assembled within women’s wombs. The spark of existence flourishes within the embryos they bear, thus populating our planet. Therefore, women should have the inherent liberty to regulate their natural reproductive ability with contraceptives if they so choose.

This bill displays no consideration for diverse moral perspectives. In addition, it violates a woman’s right to privacy and disregards her right to choose what is right for her body. Overall, this bill successfully promotes the perpetuation of archaic mindsets, which hinders the progress of women’s rights.

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