House Republicans Vote To Allow Employers To Fire Women For Using Birth Control

By Stephen D. Foster Jr. | 1 May 2015
Addicting Info

Woman with birth control pills (Shutterstock)

House Republicans quietly voted to overturn a local D.C. law last night that bars discrimination against women who exercise their reproductive rights.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act became law in 2014 but anti-women Republicans introduced H.J. Resolution 43 to destroy it. Raw Story contributor Joan Schipp described the debate and her own effort to report on it:

Thursday’s House floor debate kicked off after 9:00 PM. Before I entered the doors to the House Gallery, I complied with a police request to forfeit all my electronic devices. I inquired if I could get a press pass so I could take pictures. After a few radio calls, officials on the scene told me I could not have a press pass. So I relinquished my phone and proceeded to go in the Gallery anyway.

In addition, Schipp was also prohibited from taking notes by hand, meaning that if you wanted to know what House Republicans were up to, CSPAN was the only option.

Nevertheless, Schipp witnessed D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton defending the law against the GOP attack on women’s rights and her district’s ability to govern itself. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the resolution “Hobby Lobby on steroids,” referring to the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the “Christian” owned corporation to deny their female employees reproductive health services.

Anti-abortion groups claim the D.C. law forces employers to cover abortion in their health insurance policies for their female employees, but it actually just covers contraception methods and in vitro fertilization. But because conservatives ignorantly believe that birth control causes abortions, they pushed House Republicans into trying to overturn it.

This isn’t the first time House Republicans have tried to force their anti-woman agenda upon the residents of the District of Columbia either. Back in 2012, Arizona Republican Trent Franks introduced a 20 week abortion ban based on unscientific claims that fetuses feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Unlike this year, Holmes was blocked from speaking out against this bill. The very next year, Franks tried again, only to insult women even more by having the audacity to claim that very few women get pregnant through rape.

In the end, despite Holmes Norton’s plea to leave the law intact, 225 Republicans voted in favor of escalating their war on women under the guise of religious freedom. The resolution now moves to the Senate, and if Republicans approve it employers will have the ability to fire women just for using birth control to prevent themselves from having an unwanted pregnancy. And then D.C. would have something else in common with Arizona, where Republicans have already made such a thing perfectly legal under their Christian version of Sharia law.

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125 COMMENTS

  1. Why is this about firing women rather than not covering contraceptives? Which devices/drugs would be banned? It is a difficult argument to make to call any barrier method an abortion. There must be holes in this story (I sincerely hope.)

    • Because they have been blocked in all attempts to put in a “don’t have to cover contraceptives” clause so they’re going to their fallback “religious exception”

  2. I’m confused. Would the new law make it legal for people to be fired for using their health insurance to do something that the health insurance covers? Aren’t there insurance policies that don’t cover contraceptives, ones that were created because of employer resistance to covering contraceptives? And does the law give employees the right to review your medical records to determine if you have used contraceptives?

  3. There are A LOT of distortions and lies in this article. Please show me the exact spot in this bill where it says employers can fire their women employees for using birth control. That is absurd. Regarding Hobby Lobby, the only item they do not wish to pay for is abortion. They already provide more than 30 types of contraception to their employees under their insurance plan. Stop lying, please. And all of you who are freaking out about your birth control pills, there is NOT ONE Republican in the country who wants to deny you your freedom to use the pill. Also absurd. Call one and ask them. Seriously, do it. Stop believing this ridiculous B.S., and do your own research. Oh, and by the way, there ARE abortion pills, which do cause abortions. You can call them whatever you want, but they are meant to destroy the baby.

    • Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

      “There are A LOT of distortions and lies in this article” There might well be but read the following

      ….Next question, the majority says that the birth control mandate does place a “substantial burden” on Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs. And this sentence is crucial:

      “The owners of the businesses have religious objections to abortion, and *according to their religious beliefs* the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients.”
      Note how carefully Justice Alito worded that sentence, “according to their religious beliefs” these items are abortifacients. He had to word it this carefully because the four contraceptives at issue (Mirena, Paragard, Plan B, and Ella) are NOT, in fact, abortifacients according to the FDA.

      This is really crucial. The majority allowed Hobby Lobby to * define for itself what in fact causes an abortion* . There is a difference, you see, between saying “my religious belief is that abortion is immoral” [the religious belief Hobby Lobby has really pushed hard in all its filings] and saying “my religious belief is that Mirena causes abortion.” The first cannot and should not be challenged by a court, if that’s your belief, that’s your belief. The second is a question of fact, which can be proved or disproved via science. Individuals should not be able to declare that anything they dislike causes abortion and therefore avoid any laws relating to that item. Because there is no steady, safe line to draw between those who think IUDs cause abortions and those who think Tylenol causes abortion. Both are scientifically incorrect statements. For a court to accept the first and throw out the second because it’s “ludicrous” is picking and choosing favorites among religious beliefs, an extremely dangerous path. I think Hobby Lobby got as far as it did with this Court because 1) the justices do not understand how contraception works and 2) most Americans who support Hobby Lobby wrongly believe this is a case about abortion coverage. It is more palatable for a company to claim it just doesn’t want to support abortion than to say it doesn’t support birth control—because the vast majority of women in this country use birth control at some point in their lives. Hobby Lobby has gotten away with a PR sleight of hand and was not put to its proof when it came to its claim that the four contraceptives at issue are abortifacients.

      Judgment: Affirmed, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Alito on June 30, 2014. Justice Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Sotomayor joined, and which Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan joined to all but Part III-C-1. Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion.

      – See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2014/07/the-hobby-lobby-decision-a-summary-explanation.html#sthash.E2Zi19tG.Da1zaRQO.dpuf

    • I read the original and the two amendments and I could not find anything about firing women. To me it looks like it's all started about ensuring no discrimination for pregnancy it is to be no different from other medical conditions. I actually spent over an hour looking this up because at first I thought the site was a satirical site. People getting all hissyfit about bogus info.

  4. Once again aging white Republican males act out their male insecurity for all the world to see, desperately trying to stave off their growing irrelevance.

  5. Um… you can either reduce the number of abortions using the only method we know how (providing accessible and affordable birth control) or you can fire women for practicing good reproductive health. You can't have both.

  6. This article is fiction. Rather than making things up to mislead people why not work to get laws allowing people to have an abortion up through age 3? When kids get out of control that would get the annoying buggers out of the way.

  7. Is this country a democracy or are we headed to be like all these other dictatorial countries ? Use your votes people, from the environmental services to the White House, use, “your”, vote. It’s the only thing that’s going to save this country.

  8. This is just way to make sure people are being bored so more tax Dallars can be made and bills are being paid off. They need people to make this country going and the more people we have the more money it can make in the further. Hence each generation picks off where last left off with debt. I believe this stupid to strip the rights away from the people because some disagree with decisions made by the people. Considering it take make and female to make a baby or prevent one should both be fired or punish by this bill if becomes real? America is not free the people are monkeys and the given is in control of all decisions we have. We need to create a new body of congress, new clover meant officials and have new people in all parties. This only way I can think of to change anything an hopefully restore America and humanity.

  9. Mostly males voting on this I assume. Wonder if their wife/girlfriend/daughter would be affected? How much does birth control cost? $40 a month? Or people can use condoms and the morning after pill occasionally if needed.

  10. 1st of all this article was posted by a person from the UK, not America. 2nd this article was written almost a year ago, yet you people are acting like it just happened… 3rd H.J. Resolution 43 has nothing to do with abortion, contraception, nor the employers or employees right to birth control or being fired because of it.

    H.J. Resolution 43 is about "Proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States."

    You can read about the Resolution at this link.
    https://www.opencongress.org/bill/hjres43-111/tex

    Just because it's on the Internet or comes from a "so called news source" doesn't make it legit. You're all here getting all worked up over an article tha has no basis in any fact. The Resolution number is incorrect as well as various other aspects of the article.

    It's easy to take some facts, mix in some fiction to get a story that people will listen to… my grandmother did it for me all the time… in bed time stories and fables… Any one ever read Mother Goose???

  11. I am for birth control. birth control rocks. i first used the pill at 18.. and then used an iud and then had my tubes tied after my second child at age 37. i am for birth control. screw the natural method of the old days. screw the misogynist pigs in the republican party. screw male chauvinist pigs and the the cathollic church who says women should do the rhythm method. think all women should get their tubes tied and screw the men. not screw the men.

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