House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) echoed Democrats’ concerns about Republicans excluding female witnesses from a hearing focusing on President Obama’s new regulation requiring insurers and employers to provide birth control in their health insurance plans. “This is an issue about women’s health and I believe that women’s health should be covered in all fo the insurance plans,” Pelosi insisted at her press briefing this morning, refuting the GOP’s claim that the debate should focus on “religious liberties.”
“Where are the women? And that’s a good question for the whole debate. Where are the women?” she asked. “Imagine, having a panel on women’s health and then not having any women on the panel, duh!”:
PELOSI: What is it that men don’t understand about women’s health and how central the issue of family planning is to that? Not just if you’re having families but if you need those kinds of prescription drugs for your general health, which was the testimony they would include this morning if they had allowed a woman on the panel. I think the fact that they did not allow a woman on the panel is symbolic of the whole debate as to who is making these decisions about women’s health and who should be covered.
Last Friday, the Obama administration addressed the GOP’s concerns that Catholic-affiliated colleges and hospitals would have to provide contraception coverage that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs by issuing a revised regulation that will allow these nonprofit institutions to stop offering birth control. The change pleased several moderate Catholic organizations, but most Republicans — and some conservative Catholic organizations — continue to insist that women in their employment should not have access to these medications.