The Arizona Senate has rejected legislation designed to protect the religious liberty of employers and insurance companies by allowing them to opt out of federal mandates to provide coverage for contraception, according to the Arizona Republic
The bill’s sponsor, Republican state House Rep. Debbie Lesko, said she was surprised the measure failed by a vote of 17-13 because moderate Republicans joined the Senate’s nine Democrats to oppose it.
“We’ll try again, but either way, it’s the right thing to do,” Lesko told the newspaper. “If Republicans don't stand up and fight for religious freedom, who will?”
A spokesman for Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who generally does not comment on legislation until it reaches her desk, said she remains “a strong supporter of religious freedom and opposes broad government mandates that infringe on an individual’s personal faith.”
“That said, however, the governor has expressed reservations about this particular piece of legislation, and lawmakers appear to share some of those concerns,” the spokesman added.
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