The tweet included the hashtags “IssaCircus” and “WhereAreTheWomen,” in reference to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, which is conducting the hearing.
Planned Parenthood also retweeted one of its followers, Philadelphia Weekly writer Tara Murtha, who said:
“Inspired by @DarrellIssa, I’m holding a panel on the rights of mice. Inviting 9 of my favorite cats to speak.”
The hearing, called “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?,” is in response to the new Obama administration policy that would require some religiously affiliated hospitals and organizations to cover birth control in their healthcare plans.
On Wednesday, ranking member of the committee Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) sent a letter to Issa objecting to the exclusion of a female minority witness at the hearing.
“You did not invite officials from the Catholic Health Association, Catholic Charities USA, Catholics United, or a host of other Catholic groups that praised the White House for making this accommodation last week,” Cummings wrote. “You also failed to invite any women to testify about the negative impact that restrictive insurance coverage has on them.”
“When my staff inquired about requesting minority witnesses for this hearing, we were informed that you would allow only one,” he continued. “Based on your decision, we requested as our minority witness a third-year Georgetown University Law Center student named Sandra Fluke. I believed it was critical to have at least one woman at the witness table who could discuss the repercussions that denying coverage for contraceptives has on women across this country.”