Senate GOP overturns committee recommendation to kill SB 42
CONCORD – Today the New Hampshire Senate killed Senate Bill 42, a bill that provides employee notification for changes in contraceptive coverage on a largely party line vote.
Senate Bill 42 failed on a 12-12 vote, Senate Republicans tabled the bill which effectively killed the bill for the rest of the year.
“Senate Republicans dealt a setback to women’s health by killing this common sense notification law,” said Senator Pierce. “I introduced SB42 to ensure employers that deny or limit contraception services to disclose their policy to all employees and applicants for employment. Workers have a right to know if their employers are restricting the availability of a full range of family planning coverage.”
SB42 is a response to last year’s Hobby Lobby decision, when the United States Supreme Court allowed for-profit, secular corporations to deny their employees contraceptives to which the employees are entitled by federal law based on the religious objections of the corporations’ owners. This bill would have added an important notification mechanism into our state’s law to balance and preserve the rights of employees and employers.”
“Allowing employers to dictate limits on their employees’ health insurance coverage for contraception threatens one of the most fundamental health rights in our country. Women and their families should be allowed to make their own significant life decisions for themselves and not be subject to a for-profit employer’s personal, religious beliefs,” said Senator Pierce.
“It’s troubling most Republicans failed to stand up for women’s health by killing this common sense bill.”
“Today’s disappointing Senate vote will allow employers to deny coverage for family planning services that are critical for the health and economic security of women and families without even telling prospective employees,” said Governor Maggie Hassan. “This common-sense legislation would have protected workers, ensuring that employer policies to deny or limit contraception services would be disclosed. Coverage for family planning services is the right thing to do for workers, helps businesses attract high-quality employees, and strengthens the economic security of working families, and I will continue fighting to ensure that women and all of our workers have access to the full range of health coverage they need.”
“It’s shocking that Senate Republicans stood up to support the misguided Hobby Lobby decision that puts employers between a woman and her doctor,” said Former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan. “Even worse, Senate Republicans killed a commonsense bill that would have required employers to disclose to all workers and job applicants if they have a policy of denying workers coverage that meets their full range of health needs.”
“Republican Senators like Jerry Little, Jeanie Forrester and Kevin Avard will be held accountable by voters in their districts for today’s backward vote,” concluded Sullivan