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Sen. Nuxoll calls contraceptive coverage rule ‘greatest attack on our rights since Roe v. Wade’

Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, proposed a non-binding memorial to Congress this morning opposing federal requirements that health insurance cover contraception or sterilization. "This is the greatest attack on our rights since Roe vs. Wade in 1973 condoning the abortion of the unborn child," she told the Senate State Affairs Committee. "It's an attack on our right to religious freedom. ... This is not a contraception issue, this is a conscience issue. ... Most faiths are taking a stand." She called the Obama administration's "so-called compromise" on the issue "utterly deceptive" and "an accounting gimmick." Nuxoll said she thought the Obama administration's rule would "cause the closing of many schools and hospitals throughout the nation."

Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, asked Nuxoll numerous questions about her proposal. Among them: "If we start crafting or creating plans that cover a specific belief system, say under an employer, wouldn't that impede or go over the top of someone else's conscience or belief system that doesn't believe the same way?" Nuxoll responded, "I should have the right to buy insurance that does not cover contraception, sterilization, etc., you should have the right to buy insurance that does cover if you so wish."

The committee agreed on a divided voice vote to introduce the measure; another memorial on the topic from Rep. Carlos Bilabo, R-Emmett, already has passed the House and is pending in the Senate.

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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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