House Republicans have refused to televise a Democratic-led hearing on birth control that features the testimony of a female witness the GOP spurned in a recent hearing, says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). And Pelosi wants you to know it.
The hearing Thursday is set to have as its sole witness Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student whom House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) forbade from testifying at his contraception hearing last week despite requests from Democrats. Issa’s hearing instead included an all-male panel of religious authorities, partly in an effort to convey his claim that the issue was solely about religious freedom, and not really about women’s rights.“In an apparent effort to again silence women on the topic of women’s health,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammil said in a statement Tuesday, “the Committee on House Administration, chaired by Dan Lungren, has apparently reversed existing policy and denied a request from the Democratic leadership for the House Recording Studio to cover this event and provide video publicly so all Americans can finally hear Ms. Fluke.”
On Wednesday Pelosi fired off a email to supporters titled “They’re censoring us,” decrying the GOP decision as “disgraceful,” “unacceptable,” and an act of “shameful censorship.” It linked to a petition calling on Republicans to reverse the decision.
Lungren spokesperson Salley Wood told TPM, “We certainly weren’t aware of this request until the past couple of days — and I’m certain that the Chairman was not aware of this request.”
A GOP aide said it has not been the committee’s policy to accept all such requests, noting that it has at times denied both Democratic and Republican efforts to televise hearings. The aide said granting it to some members necessitates granting it to all members, and there aren’t enough resources for that.