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SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, the House Republican Majority again denied a vote on the Contraceptive Health Equity and Employee Rights (CHEER) Act. Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-Saint Paul) offered an amendment to SF 1523, a bill dealing with health insurance coverage. The bill, authored by Dennis Smith (R-Maple Grove) in the House was pulled from the Calendar for the Day after Rep. Smith referred to the amendment to provide contraception coverage as “controversial."
This is the third time in as many weeks that a vote has been blocked on contraception. The CHEER Act requires employers who cover prescription coverage to their employees to include all FDA approved contraception without cost sharing. The amendment provides an exemption for religious organizations.
Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL-Saint Paul) issued the following statement:
“Women’s health and access to contraception isn’t controversial. Only in the Republican Party can access to life saving medicine be controversial. I’m disappointed that we’re continuing to play games with women’s health. Reducing unplanned pregnancies and making sure women have access to life saving medication should be something in which the Minnesota House of Representatives should find common cause.
“This is an issue that affects women and their families, their health and their pocketbooks. Access to contraception should not be up to someone’s boss, and it certainly shouldn’t be denied because of parliamentary games played by the Republicans. I had hoped that this legislature would prioritize women’s health and would have allowed a vote on the CHEER Act.”
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