With promises that it will be scaled down, the Arizona Senate passed controversial House Bill 2625 Thursday, which will allow employers to deny women’s birth control coverage under health insurance plans.
Sen. Al Melvin, R-District 26, voted yes, along with Sen. Frank Antenori, R-District 30. Antenori is currently running on the GOP ticket in the special election for CD8.
The measure was originally voted down by the Senate on March 28, but in a revote on Thursday, it passed 17-13 with four Republicans changing their votes from no to yes.
All of the Senate Democrats voted against the measure.
While proponents say the bill protects religious rights for employers, those against the bill said it violates a woman’s right to privacy.
Arizona is among 26 states with laws requiring employers to cover contraception through their health insurance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Most of those states, including Arizona, offer exemptions for churches or other religious employers.
The bill now goes before Gov. Jan Brewer. Many have already called for the Arizona governor to veto the bill, including Ariz. Sen. John McCain.