Last week, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men – and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.
House Dems aren’t taking “no” for an answer.
In case it wasn’t already apparent how politicized women’s health has become on Capitol Hill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that a Democratic panel will meet this week to hear testimony from just one witness: Sandra Fluke, the woman who House Republicans refused to let testify at their hearing on the birth control rule last week.
Pelosi announced that the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee will meet Thursday at 10 a.m. to discuss women’s health. A senior Democratic aide said it is common practice for party leaders to use that committee to cast a spotlight on overtly political matters.
“We’ve used the Steering and Policy Committee as a place to highlight what the Republicans ARE NOT doing with their hearings,” the aide said in an email.
There was, however, an unexpected twist yesterday afternoon. The Democratic Steering & Policy Committee’s hearing will be held in the House Recording Studio, in order to help broadcast the event, except in this case, it won’t be seen by anyone outside the room. According to House Dems, the Republican-controlled Committee on House Administration has refused to allow the hearing to be televised.
In other words, the House GOP blocked Sandra Fluke from testifying at a hearing last week, and now they’re apparently blocking the public from hearing Sandra Fluke’s testimony at another hearing this week.
And what is it, exactly, about Fluke’s perspective that has Republicans so concerned? The law student wants to share the story of a classmate who lost an ovary due to an ailment that could have been treated with birth control.
Here’s a video of Fluke, sharing a perspective the House GOP apparently doesn’t want you to see: