This could be a first for me. I’ve written about some odd things in my time—a tribal legislature wanting to buy themselves gold rings while most of people live in poverty, a county supervisor allowing volunteer workers to go hog wild with a credit card and spend $50 or more a pop on meals—but I think I’m going to reach a new milestone today.
I’m going to rap about birth control. Yes, a gay man is going to talk about birth control. Stop checking your Bible to see if that’s one of the signs of the apocalypse! This is serious!
So is a bill that would allow employers to fire women who are using birth control unless they provide medical proof it is for something other than preventing pregnancy. The Arizona Legislature—undoubtedly the only one in the union who could take the lead on something so dunderheaded—is giving bosses the right to determine when employees can or cannot use contraception through House Bill 2625, which has already been given one pass by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Keep in mind that the bill is not just preventing skanky whores that ride anything with a stick shift the ability to get pills. It is also allowing bosses to get involved in the lives of their rightfully married employees who might not feel ready to have children yet because their fearless leaders pay such a crummy wage they can’t budget for diapers and formula.
More than a decade ago, I wrote a column in my hometown newspaper praising the Arizona Legislature for passing a bill that repealed antiquated laws making gay sex and sex out of wedlock crimes, a bipartisan effort that told the citizens of Arizona that they are capable of making their own decisions about morality without Big Brother watching them. Now the Legislature is doing a major backpedal with this bill that says they are not capable of making moral decisions, even if they are married.
HB2625 already has the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, and you know they could turn this into a runaway train really quick. This pill—uh, I mean, bill—is supposedly to protect the religious freedom of the bosses and not require them to shell out money for employee insurance that includes contraceptives if their beliefs contradict.
There are two problems, though. First, who said the bosses’ beliefs have to be imposed on the employees? They’re here to work cash registers, cook food, manufacture vehicles, starch shirts, take memos, and so on. They’re not here to make signs and carry banners through the streets stating el Jeffe’s beliefs.
Second, some language in the original bill that made it illegal for employers to fire female employees who bought their own contraception without any help from work health insurance was taken out, so a woman could pay cash for Baby Be Gone, but the boss could potentially give her the boot.
This sounded at first like something a guy would cook up, since there have been other instances where men think they’re the authority figures on how a woman’s body works. Nope. It was a woman who sponsored this little nutty nugget, and here’s her rationale for playing the role of Judas with all her sisters:
“I believe we live in America. We don’t live in the Soviet Union. So, government should not be telling the organizations or mom and pop employers to do something against their moral beliefs.”
It’s one thing to try and cut down business costs by putting limits on health insurance coverage, but this bill will not stop women from having sex, whether they’re married or unmarried. If they’re not prepared for raising children, the number of abortions will go up, along with the number of abandoned children for those folks who opt to carry the babies to term. That, in turn, could include a hike in the number of young people angry at the world because nobody loved them, which increases the number of criminals, which increases the number of people locked up in prison, paid for by our tax dollars. Frankly, I’d rather the employers just hold their noses and shell out the bucks for insurance.
Besides, why should the Legislature only butt in on the personal lives of women? Where’s the legislation saying that men can’t get Viagra unless they can prove they’re trying to make a baby?
Like I said in the beginning, the birth control issue doesn’t affect me personally, since it’s biologically impossible for a man to impregnate another man. However, I feel no need to tell my female friends and relations how they should live their lives and attempt to control them. The Arizona Legislature shouldn’t either.