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Legislative Bill Review Senate Bill 09-225

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Legislative Bill Review Senate Bill 09-225

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to conduct a comprehensive investigation and review a Colorado Legislature Senate Bill 09-225, The Birth Control Protection Act. Present the product of the investigation from a personal perspective. Provide and explain the effective date of the bill, what committees heard the bill, and what action did the bill see before approval. Moreover, explain who is responsible for the administration of the bill after final approval. Finally to discuss the relevance of the bill as it pertains to the profession of social work and the societal impact of the bill.

General Bill Information

Colorado Legislature Senate Bill 09-225 is commonly referred to as The Birth Control Protection Act (BCPA), and it concerns the definition of contraceptive. The bill itself was penned by Michael Dohr the Senior Staff Attorney for the Colorado General Assembly. The bill received dual sponsorship and was initially sponsored by Senator Betty Boyd of Lakewood and Representative Anne McGihon of Denver.

On February 18th, 2009 the bill was first introduced to the Senate and assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee. On February 26th, 2009, the Senate Committee for Health and Human Services referred the bill in its unamended form to the Senate as a whole. The bill was subsequently held over after the second reading on March 3rd, 2009, and was passed with amendments on March 4th, 2009.

On March 5th, 2009 the bill was introduced to the House of Representatives and was assigned to the Health and Human Services Committee. On the same day the Senate held a third reading and the motion for approval was passed. On March 16th, 2009, the House Committee on Health and Human Services referred the amended version to the House Committee as a whole. Final vote for approval by the House of Representatives Committee for Health and Human Services was 6 to 4 in favor of the motion. On March 19th, 2009 the House held a second reading and the motion was laid over until March 20th, 2009, and then it was passed with new amendments. There was a third house reading held on March 23rd, 2009 and the newest version of the motion was passed. The Senate considered the new House Amendments and a concurrence took place and there was a re-pass, the final vote was in favor 5 to 3. Finally, on April 3rd, 2009 the President of the Colorado Senate signed the bill for approval and it was forwarded to the Speaker of the House who signed in approval on April 7th, 2009. Ultimately, Governor Ritter signed and gave final approval of the bill on April 16th, 2009 where it was forwarded and went before the 67th Colorado General Assembly under Chapter 126, and went into effect on August 6th, 2009 (Colorado General Assembly, 2011).

Simply put, the bill defines a contraceptive or contraception meaning a medically acceptable drug, device, or procedure used to prevent pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains the bill would end the debate between contraception and abortion, because it would clearly and legally define birth control (McCafferty, 2009). Furthermore, it codifies the definition of emergency contraception which was outlined in the bill. The definition reads as follows: "emergency contraception - means a drug approved by the federal food and drug administration that prevents pregnancy after sexual intercourse, including but not limited to oral contraceptive pills; except that "emergency contraception" shall not include RU-486, mifepristone, or any other drug or device that induces a medical abortion (Colorado General Assembly, 2011)."

The Mayo Clinic states RU-486 and Mifepristone are simple oral medications taken within 7 weeks after the first day of a female's last period. Both are designed to block the female hormone progesterone and cause the lining of the uterus to thin. This thinning prevents the embryo from planting and growing and it ultimately expelled from the uterus (The Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). Currently the U. S. Food and Drug Administration have not approved either RU-486 or Mifepristone for ingestion without safety controls (U. S. Food and Drug Aministration, 2011).

Relevance to Social Work

Since the 1973 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade the topic of abortion has been in heated debate for social workers across the nation and other professionals alike. Although, the primacy of this decision in Roe v. Wade was a woman's right to privacy, the Supreme Court also addressed the delegation of authority to each individual state to govern the issue (Gale/Cenage Learning, 2011). Not only is it the responsibility of social workers to be educated and possess an accurate understanding of our dynamic legislative policies at both the state and federal levels, but to be cognizant and recognize ethical dilemmas are going to arise when providing women with care, referrals, or services regarding contraception and abortion. Social Workers need to be aware, while unwanted pregnancy is still creating life it also changes the course the woman's life, because of the physical symptoms which make the condition public. It is imperative to be aware of one's personal beliefs regarding abortion and own the belief in a professional manner. Not only for some time has the debate been ongoing, but by the bill providing a clear definition of emergency contraception it directly relates to other areas of concern within the social work arena. These other areas of concern include but are not limited to health care and health insurance responsibilities, other economics issues with regards to personal costs, and the health of a woman with respect of their right to choose.

Fiscal Report

On May 5th, 2009, fiscal analyst, Amy Larson, reported no fiscal note (Colorado General Assembly, 2011). In other words, there was no financial impact assigned to the bill if passed, as it neither increased nor decreased the amount of work on any State of Colorado agency. The following Colorado State Departments were contacted to ensure no fiscal responsibility included: Education, Health Care Policy and Financing, Higher Education, Human Services, Public Health and Environment, Law, the Judicial Branch, and Legislature - Office of Legislative Legal Services.

As of August 6th, 2009 when the bill became law the party(ies) responsible for the administration

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