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Eye On Boise

Mon., Feb. 20, 2012, 1:09 p.m.

Testimony: Contraceptive bill would ‘set women’s health care back at least 30 years’

So far, more than a half-dozen people have testified on HB 530, the bill to permit any Idaho health insurance policy to exclude coverage for contraception, sterilization or abortion-inducing drugs, all of them women, and all of them against the bill. Among them:

Sylvia Chariton of the American Association of University Women of Idaho told the committee, "Trying to block ... poor working women's access to contraception  is reprehensible, wrong and completely out of touch with today's ... landscape. ... To deny these working women improved pregnancy prevention programs, new technologies and ... access to complete reproductive health care will serve neither employee nor employer well in the long run."

Eve Palmer told the committee, "I believe passage of this bill will set women's health care back at least 30 years."

Elaine Kazakoff, of Boise, said, "I believe that contraception is an individual choice, so I would urge you all to oppose this bill."

Two young women testified that they take contraceptive medication for non-contraceptive reasons, one who suffers from chronic ocular migraines, and another who suffers from extremely heavy periods accompanied by serious nausea and fatigue; the second said she couldn't keep her job without the medication, as she'd miss at least one day a month of work.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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