Proposed NV Bills Would Scrap Religious Exemption for Birth Control Coverage

Nevada could mandate that all health plans must include coverage for birth control.

Lawmakers from the Democratic Party have proposed a mandate in Nevada. They are sponsoring Assembly Bill 249 and Senate Bill 233. The mandate says that all plans of health insurance must cover birth control. This should be done even where the contraceptives are subjected to religious objections made by the family owned businesses. This exemption was sanctified by the highest U.S. court. Nevada could be the fifth U.S. state to permit women a year supply of birth control.[/tweetit]

Proposed NV Bills Would Scrap Religious Exemption for Birth Control Coverage[/tweetthis]

The Assembly and Senate bills introduced in Legislature would negate the state laws which permits employers to keep away birth control devices and pills from insurance plans. These will remain valid even if those are opposed on religious grounds. Legislative analysts are of the opinion doing such a step will compel all insurers to provide coverage to contraceptives.

Many people attended the hearings which took place on March 6. These hearings were directed at decreasing the unplanned pregnancies and health risks which can happen between the contraceptive prescriptions. Teresa Benitez-Thompson, an Assemblywoman from Reno, said their intention is to allow any woman who has been prescribed birth control to request her pharmacist to provide adequate supply of the prescription to last a year. This will be valid even if the doctor concerned has prescribed for the present threshold of a maximum of three months.

If passed, both the bills will strip businesses of their right to not provide medicine as a religious objection towards ensuring birth control. A number of conservatives have appealed against the two bills. They say the bills are unfair towards religious organizations and amoral as well.

The Supreme Court of the United States, in its 2014 ruling, said businesses run for making a profit under control of few individuals, having minimal distinction between the business and owners, could hold on to religious views. They could lawfully opt not to cover the contraceptives of employees. The Nevada Legislature are in Democrats' control for the first time since the 5-4 decision made by Barack Obama, the former President's health care law. The Democratic lawmakers are trying to justify the entire exemption, as it was proposed. If this is not possible, then it should be narrowed into state level. According to Senator Julia Ratti, the Democrat lawmaker from Sparks, the aim is to provide more women increased access to health services. 


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