Monday, February 20, 2012

Emotional Testimony Continues in House Hearing on Birth Control Coverage

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

It's turning out to be a long afternoon today at the meeting of the House Health and Welfare Committee, considering HB 530, a measure that would permit Idaho insurance carriers to exclude coverage for contraception, sterilization or abortion-inducing drugs.

The majority of the testimony, almost all from women, is opposed to the legislation.

"Trying to block working women's access, especially poor women's access, to contraception is reprehensible," said Sylvia Chariton, vice president for public policy for the American Association of University Women in Idaho. "This is wrong and completely out of touch with today's workplace landscape."

Former Coeur d'Alene Rep. Bonnie Douglas returned to the Statehouse to tell her own story.

"I was a teenager with acne. I have acne scarring," said Douglas. "The fact that you would deny access to women for reasons that are not birth control is the wrong direction to go."

Jason Herring, president of the Right to Life of Idaho, testified in favor of the measure.

"We're opposed to abortifacients that are packaged under the guise of contraception," said Herring. "Abortion is not health care."

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