Democrats to hold birth-control hearing

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The dueling events are a clear encapsulation of how each side wants to frame the debate over the White House's contraception mandate. Notably, neither one claims to be specifically about that policy.

Pelosi and other Democrats slammed Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) last week for convening an all-male panel to discuss a mandate that affects women's access to healthcare. Issa said his hearing was not about the contraception policy itself, but rather about religious freedom and whether the mandate encroaches on religious employers.

Likewise, the official subject of Pelosi's hearing this week is "women's health." The release announcing it does not explicitly mention contraception or birth control.

The event will be held Thursday by the Democratic Steering Committee. The panel is an organizational and policy mechanism for Democrats and does not have any legislative jurisdiction.