• With: State Rep. Debbie Lesko

    This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

    GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: More trouble for President Obama tonight out of Arizona. The state's Republican lawmakers are fighting back against the HHS contraception mandate. But they don't just want to broaden the exemptions for religious organizations. They want to broaden it to include exemptions for secular businesses as well.

    Arizona State Representative Debbie Lesko joins us. Good evening. Tell me, what is the status of your attempt to do this?

    ARIZONA STATE REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE LESKO: Good evening, Greta. Thank you for having me. The status is pretty good. It passed out of the House and now it passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee and it will go on to the full Senate, and I think this law will be signed by the governor.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, this is broader than the one, the federal one, the HHS rule?

    LESKO: You know, I am not as familiar about the federal one. But what my bill does is basically says that Arizona employers can opt out of the contraceptive mandate if they have a religious not objection. That's all my bill does. This is about protection of religious liberty, our First Amendment rights.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Currently does Arizona have that mandate?

    LESKO: We currently do. There was a law put in place in 2002 and the legislature back in 2003 introduced a Bill similar to mine that was passed by the legislature but vetoed by Governor Napolitano.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I am curious, let's say that yours pass and it is governor signs it. Let's assume come the end of June the Supreme Court concluded that the president's health care is constitutional. So now we have a conflict between what is required in Arizona and what is permitted by the federal government. What happens then?

    LESKO: Well, the lawyers tell me my legislation doesn't really conflict with the federal rule or law. However, my legislation is passed and signed by the governor will put Arizona and Arizona citizens in a better spot when we go up against these federal mandates and challenge them.

    VAN SUSTEREN: How popular -- can you get a feel from the community whether the people -- is it half and half in terms of whether the people are with you or against you?

    LESKO: Well, I think the people are with me as they understand the Bill. Right now the opposition is spreading all kinds of lies and mistruths -- mistruths about my legislation. And it's just wrong. All my bill does is protect religious freedom. Basically it says that government should not be telling a mom and pop employer or a Catholic charity organization that they have to do something against their moral beliefs. I just believe that's un-American and it violates our First Amendment right.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Have you had conversation with the governor, if pass the, whether or not Governor Jan Brewer will sign it? I can guess, but tell me if you have had a conversation with her, what she said.

    LESKO: You know, Greta, I haven't had a personal conversation with her. I have talked to some of her staff and other people have talked to her staff. I think that this bill will be signed by the governor of Arizona because it protects our religious liberties and our freedom to exercise religion. And that's what America is all about.

    VAN SUSTEREN: State Representative Lesko, thanks very much. And we will be watching. And your state is oftentimes a thorn in the side of the administration, so it's sort of interesting to watch it. Thank you.

    LESKO: Thank you.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Tomorrow night, we will have the other side of the debate. Democratic Representative Matt Heinz will be here and go "On the Record" about Arizona's contraception bill.