Loopy Laws Looming Large (SJR 31)
Today’s novel attempt at writing religious faith into civil law is designated SJR 31, an attempt at “prohibiting discrimination or penalization for refusing to provide certain health insurance coverage if it is contrary to religious or moral beliefs.” The proposed State Constitutional language is as follows:
No individual, employer, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, or any other person or entity shall be compelled to provide coverage for, or be discriminated against or penalized for declining or refusing coverage for, abortion, contraception, or sterilization in a health plan if such items or procedures are contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such employer, health plan provider, health plan sponsor, health care provider, person, or entity.
Seriously, Bill Brown? Did it not occur to you that individuals have a vastly better sense of whether and when they should be making babies than their bosses and corporate boards? What the living hell does it even mean to say that a corporation has anything resembling moral convictions on these profoundly personal matters? If the people who drafted this bill gave half a damn about personal liberty, it would have been phrased so as to allow individuals to opt out of health plans which provide certain coverage and opt into plans which provide less comprehensive coverage. Instead, they are attempting to empower corporations and the healthcare industry to make these decisions for us. Remember this move the next time the GOP boldly claims to be the party of liberty and personal responsibility.
State Senator Brown’s District 36 straddles Tulsa and Wagoner counties, and he should be aware of the Tulsa World’s reporting on how badly our state has been doing (in the aggregate) at providing children with healthy outcomes. Given those dismal data, perhaps we should focus on helping our citizens avoid unwanted pregnancies rather than trying to take away their reproductive options with a wink and nod to Humanae Vitae.
ETA: It’s been brought to my attention that my man CJ is also going through Oklahoma’s new batch of faith-based legislation over at Odd Oklahoma, so do go check that out. It looks like he’s doing a more thorough job of it than I am.