The Main Stream

Apr 16, 2012 9:05 PM

Lawmakers approve changes to contraception bill

PHOENIX (AP) - Legislators are advancing a compromise to scale back a controversial bill on health plan coverage for contraception.

The bill originally would have allowed any employer to claim a religious exemption from the state's mandate for contraception coverage.

But the legislation won enough votes for Senate approval only after supporters agreed to limit which employers can claim the exemption.

With minority Democrats voting no, a new version was endorsed late Monday by majority Republicans serving on a House-Senate conference committee.

The new version would only expand the current exemption so that additional religious entities could opt out of having to provide contraception for birth control purposes.

The conference committee's approval of the revised legislation sets the stage for final House and Senate votes. Those could take place later this week.

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