A vote in the Oklahoma state Senate on a bill that would allow employers to deny contraception and abortion coverage for women in insurance plans passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. Senate Bill 452, introduced by Senator Clark Jolley (R) and Senator Pam Peterson (R), passed on a vote of nine to zero last Thursday.
The language of the bill states, "Notwithstanding any other provision of state or federal law, no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees."
Jolley has said that the bill is the result of lobbying by Dr. Dominic Pedulla, a constituent who calls himself a natural family planning medical consultant and women's health researcher. His concern over contraceptive coverage stems from his belief that women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla told the Tulsa World. "Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother. They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn't bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies."
Despite Pedulla's concern that contraception is poisonous, oral birth control was first FDA approved in 1960 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advocate that birth control be available without a prescription.
Media Resources: Think Progress (2/22/13); Tulsa World (2/22/13); Oklahoma State Legislature
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .