Georgia Senator from Columbus opens up birth control debate - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Georgia Senator from Columbus opens up birth control debate

COLUMBUS, GA -

A growing number of states are opening another battle front on the Obama administration's stance on birth control legislation.

This week, Republican Senator Josh McKoon from Columbus introduced a new bill to the Georgia Senate giving religious employers a choice to opt out of coverage of birth control for employee insurance.

"Under the current law, the religious employer has two options.  They can either purchase insurance with coverage that they find morally objectionable or they can just choose not to insure their employees," said McKoon.

McKoon is currently working on the State Capitol trying to bring recognition to Senate Bill 460 that would open up some options for religious employers in Georgia when it comes to insurance.

"This is an issue where people of goodwill on both sides of the debate have been sorting through some very complicated questions to find a solution that works for everyone," said President Obama.

President Obama is at the center of the debate throughout the country.  His healthcare overhaul includes a mandate for religious-affiliated businesses supplying employees with health coverage that include birth control.

Two weeks ago, the administration offered a compromise where insurers, rather than religious groups, would pay for the contraceptive coverage.

"A woman's health should not depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes," said the President.

While looking at Obama's mandate, McKoon and other senators found that Georgia's current law does not allow religious organizations to choose their coverage.

"It does not change Georgia's mandate.  It just allows religious employers to exempt out of that mandate.  So, they can still provide their employees health insurance coverage without having to provide services that they find morally objectionable," said McKoon.

Some Georgia political blogs are speaking out against Georgia Senate Bill 460 saying it is an assault on women. 

Senator McKoon hopes the bill will make it to a Georgia Senate committee hearing this week and says the bill still has to go through several hurdles become it could become a law.

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