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States attack 'Obamacare' with birth control bills

February 18, 2012 • National News


Republican Rep. Carlos Bilbao is shown with his copy of the Affordable Care Act in his office at the Idaho Legislature in Boise, Idaho on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. Bilbao has introduced legislation that would exempt Idaho insurers from a federal requirement they provide birth control for women. (AP Photo/Jessie L. Bonner)

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican lawmakers in a handful of states are opening another front in the war against President Obama’s health care overhaul, seizing on the hot-button issue of birth control with bills that would allow insurance companies to ignore new federal rules requiring them to cover contraception.

Measures introduced recently in Idaho, Missouri and Arizona would go beyond religious nonprofits and expand exemptions to secular insurers or businesses that object to covering contraception, abortion and sterilization.

“In its present state, the health care bill is an affront to my religious freedoms,” said Idaho Republican Rep. Carlos Bilbao, who is sponsoring the bill.

The ACLU counters, saying such bills discriminate against women.

“Each time more entities are allowed to deny contraceptive coverage, the religious beliefs of some are imposed on Login to read more

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