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EMILY's List ad hits GOP for all-male birth control panel

A powerful Democratic women’s rights group has launched an advertising blitz attacking Republicans for not including women witnesses at a congressional hearing about an Obama administration contraception mandate and religious freedom.

The television ad spot — produced by EMILY’s List — will be broadcast to viewers in Chicago, San Francisco, and Florida and takes aim at a hearing held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this week in which female Democrats on the panel staged a walkout after no women were allowed to testify in support of the White House’s contraception mandate. 

The debate centers around President Obama’s mandate that employers, such as Catholic schools and universities, provide or pay for birth control for their employees. Obama revised that policy last week, in the wake of a backlash from Catholic officials and Republican lawmakers, to allow workers to get contraception through their insurance company, instead of through their church.

Last week’s hearing was entitled, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” Republicans have painted the Obama mandate as an attack on religious liberties and invited religious leaders opposed to the mandate to testify.

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This story was updated at 6:30 p.m.