Pelosi hits GOP at contraception hearing

House Democrats kept pressing their case on contraception Thursday, using a hearing on the issue to hammer the GOP and frame the debate around women’s health.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) organized the hearing after an Oversight Committee panel last week did not include any female witnesses who support the White House’s order requiring employers and insurance companies to cover birth control.

{mosads}Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who wasn’t allowed to testify last week, emphasized Thursday that many women use contraception for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. She recounted the stories of friends and classmates who rely on contraception for other medical reasons.

Those examples helped reinforce Democrats’ argument that the contraception debate is fundamentally about women’s health. Catholic organizations and Republican critics say the debate is about religious freedom and whether the White House is forcing some religious employers to provide services they believe are immoral.

Fluke said support for the White House policy is not “a war against the church” but rather a “struggle” for access to affordable contraception.

Pelosi repeatedly said the fight over the contraception mandate is about women’s health and criticized Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for not allowing Fluke to testify at last week’s hearing.

“It wasn’t about church and state, it was about an ideological point of view,” Pelosi said.


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