Thursday, February 16, 2012

Republicans Prevent Women From Testifying at House Contraception Hearing

Think Progress reports Democratic Women Boycott House Contraception Hearing After Republicans Prevent Women From Testifying

"Ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) had asked Issa to include a female witness at the hearing, but the Chairman refused, arguing that ‘As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.’

And so Cummings, along with the Democratic women on the panel, took their request to the hearing room, demanding that Issa consider the testimony of a female college student. But the California congressman insisted that the hearing should focus on the rules’ alleged infringement on ‘religious liberty,’ not contraception coverage, and denied the request. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) walked out of the hearing in protest of his decision, citing frustration over the fact that the first panel of witnesses consisted only of male religious leaders against the rule. Holmes Norton said she will not return, calling Issa’s chairmanship an ‘autocratic regime.’"

This doesn't have to do with women? I think the underlying issue is solely about women. I doubt they're talking about health insurance covering condoms. And I assume that health insurance covers vasectomies. So we're really talking about birth control pills, which only women take. But ok, suppose it really is about religion, are there no women with opinions about religion and health insurance?

Republicans do know that women vote, right? Or do they want to repeal the 19th Amendment too?

1 comment:

Karl said...

I can understand how a college student (without knowing any more details) might not be an appropriate witness for the hearing, and it even possibly makes sense to group panels based on similar positions on the issue. But it certainly seems that if you want to examine the issue of infringement you have to put it in context which would make testimony from Sebelius, or someone from the board which originally suggested the change important. Unless the forgone assertion is the ‘religious liberty’ is absolute. Even so, it just seems like poor PR not to have identified and included some women who would support the assertion.