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OKLAHOMA CITY – Employers in Oklahoma could opt not to include contraceptives and abortions in employee insurance plans under a measure that secured passage by a Senate committee Thursday.
 The measure, Senate Bill 452 by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee by a vote of 9-0 with no debate and now heads to the full Senate.  “Notwithstanding any other provision of state or federal law, no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees,” the bill says.

Reported in the Tulsa Sun, February 22, 2013:

This is above and beyond the provisions already made for religious institutions like churches. With the passage of this bill, any employer may decide his female employees shouldn’t have access to birth control pills. What reason can employers give to control the personal lives of women? Whatever stupid thing they can think of:

Jolley said the measure is the result of a request from a constituent, Dr. Dominic Pedulla, an Oklahoma City cardiologist who describes himself as a natural family planning medical consultant and women’s health researcher.

And what, exactly, is Pedulla’s objection to birth control pills which only prevent pregnancy as opposed to aborting one?

Women are worse off with contraception because it suppresses and disables who they are, Pedulla said.

“Part of their identity is the potential to be a mother,” Pedulla said. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”

 Pedulla says he is morally against contraception and abortion. He said he had to give up his small group health plan because the only plans available in the state required coverage for contraception and sterilization. He and his family were on the plan and had to find more expensive insurance elsewhere.

Please keep in mind that Dr. Pedulla is a Cardiologist not an Obstetrician or a Gynocologist. He says contraceptives are poison but, I'd really like to see the research that he relies upon to make such an outrageous statement. Is it from the American Medical Association? Can it be found in the New England Journal of Medicine?

The Pill has been around for a very long time. It was first developed in 1956.  Clinical trials were run in 1957 and that same year they were marketed. The news of the Pill spreads to the general public. An article in Science magazine informed readers that "women have taken a synthetic hormone as an oral contraceptive and it works."

The first president to face the question about the Pill was Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.  He stated in a press conference that birth control "is not a proper political or government activity or function or responsibility" and added emphatically that it is "not our business."

Less than two years after FDA approval of Enovid for therapeutic purposes, an unusually large number of American women mysteriously developed severe menstrual disorders and asked their doctors for the drug. By late 1959, over half a million American women were taking the Pill, presumably for the "off-label" contraceptive purposes.

Birth control pills have a number of uses aside from contraception. They can regulate a woman’s cycle and reduce the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation. They can also help with certain kinds of acne, reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well as osteoporosis.    

Before the Pill came along women who could afford it had a  D&C diagnostic or obstetrical procedure in which the uterus was scraped.  Women who could not afford the procedure were left to their own devises.

It appears that Oklahoma GOP are in agreement with their fundamentally religious constituents. But, if you think it’s only an issue of religion you'd be wrong.  It seems to have just as much to do with money. Hobby Lobby CEO, David Green of Oklahoma pays $1.3 million per day in fines for refusing to provide contraceptive coverage for his employees.

According to the annual FDA Consumer report, the Pill is considered safe and effective by the government, medical establishment and public.  No, it doesn't poison you. It doesn't rob you of your identity. It gives women the freedom to finish school, to plan their lives and to find respite from those who would make decisions about their bodies for them.

And, make no mistake, if this bill passes in the state of Oklahoma it will serve as the watershed moment for other red states. We may be in for another round of "Personhood" and "Option" type bills throughout the nation.

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