Fluke had been invited to testify at a hearing on a divisive contraceptives mandate last week that was organized by Republicans, but was barred from speaking because Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said she wasn’t qualified. The hearing drew major criticism — including from Norton, who walked out in protest — because of an all-male panel that spoke during the morning session. “Where are the women?” Pelosi tweeted at the time.
The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held its own hearing on women’s health Thursday, a direct response by female Democrats. Fluke was the only witness.
In her testimony, Fluke made reference to the "financial, emotional and medical burdens" that students and employees at many religiously affiliated institutions have faced as a result of contraceptives not being covered by insurance. She also presented an argument that many college-aged women use contraception for reasons other than preventing pregnancy.
Thursday’s hearing was not controversy-free, either. CNN reported that House TV cameras would not be recording the event, a fact that drew more criticism from Pelosi.
Pelosi is currently attempting to raise $1 million in contributions to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee before the Federal Election Commission reporting deadline next Wednesday, saying in an email to supporters that it will send a message to Republicans that people will not tolerate their “anti-woman agenda.”