Idaho Bill Targets Contraceptive Coverage

February 22, 2012 — Idaho lawmakers on Monday agreed to amend a measure (H0 530) designed to let employers bypass federal contraceptive coverage rules, the AP/San Antonio Express-News reports. Republicans on the state House Health and Welfare Committee agreed to allow Rep. Carlos Bilbao (R), the bill's sponsor, to make changes to address concerns that the bill would hinder access to birth control pills for patients who need them for purposes other than contraception.

Rep. Fred Wood (R) had proposed killing the bill, arguing that it would allow employers to impose their religious beliefs on their workers and could result in a legal battle with the federal government. Wood also said the wording of the measure is so broad that it might prevent women from accessing treatments for medical conditions.

The committee has not set a date to consider Bilbao's changes (Miller, AP/San Antonio Express-News, 2/20).