Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Blimish on My State

If you are unaware of the stupid decisions regarding women's health that are currently going on in Arizona, our state politicians are pushing a bill that will let employers choose if birth control is covered by their insurance. Additionally, this bill will eliminate the language in the current law that state that women cannot be discriminated against because they use birth control. Click here or here for more coverage of this story and here to view the actual bill.

There are so many reasons why this pisses me off. Let's go through them one by one, shall we?
  1. Birth Control should be covered by insurance. Employers, honestly, should want their employees to have as few children as possible, right? Think about it. Any time a female employee has a baby, that's maternity leave and productive is hurt. I don't know about you, but at my work, I am given certain projects because I don't have kids. My manager knows I can travel easily for work because I don't have to worry about who's covering for me with my kids. I don't have to leave early to pick them up. I don't have to work from home when they are sick. My manager should want to make sure that I have the tools to be kid-free as long as I choose to. Also, birth control is used for more than just preventing pregnancy. I was on birth control pills for years to regulate my period. Other women use it to prevent painful ovarian cysts, which can cause infertility.
  2. Why change the language of the law? I heard an argument that it shouldn't matter if the discrimination language is removed because federal law will still protect us. Well, that's just dumb. It's like saying you don't need side airbags in your car because the front ones should save you. Why remove a level of protect for no reason? There is absolutely no logical reason to remove it. 
  3. State politicians don't know the details of the bill they are supporting. If you read the link I provided above, one of the sponsoring politicians admits that he doesn't know what the bill entails. "Pratt told us he didn't know enough about the current state and language of the bill to answer questions about it." A different "representative" then said that the ACLU is making this sound worse than it is. "'How do you motivate people?' she said. 'You motivate people by fear. This is just one thing that they're doing.'" She may be right. I may be motivated by fear. But I have every right to be scared of this stupid piece of legislation. 
  4. Arizona has MUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH bigger problems. First, we seem to always be in the bottom 10% of education in the country. Especially in math and science, which, as an engineer, hurts my soul. According to one study, we are the dumbest state in the country. Second, border security and violence is a constant issue. Since it's spring break season, there are near daily warning of college students to not go to Mexico because of the increasing drug violence. Almost every day there is another story of the conflict flowing across the border. Third, here in Tucson, we are in a constant state of trying to revitalize our downtown, but we can't get businesses to stay open long enough to make an impact. We can't seem to keep businesses and our politicians talk about it, but never do anything about it. Wait, that's wrong. We built parking garages and then argue about where the money came from after the fact. AFTER THE FACT! Our sheriff is investigating Obama's birth certificate. How that affects my life? I have no freaking clue. Why they think this is a good idea? I have no freaking clue...
So here is my plea. Please go to this website and let the Arizona legislature know how you feel. It doesn't matter if you don't live here. As a person with a sense of logic and human rights, let them know how you feel. They need to know how much of an embarrassment this has become, on a local, national, and international level. This sort of change for the sake of change is abhorrent and these people need to understand that it will not go unnoticed. 

UPDATE: My friend sent me this link. Apparently something similar is happening in Virginia and the talented women of Virginia have taken updating their congressmen with the ongoings of their vaginas through Facebook. The congressman mentioned in this article no longer allows commenting on his wall (I wonder why...), but here are links to the sponsors here in Arizona: Rep #1, Rep #2, Rep #3, Rep #4, and Rep #5 (two don't have facebook pages, how sad...). And don't worry if they don't all have campaign pages, I'm sure they would appreciate a heart-felt direct message.

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