The War on Women
Rep. Darrell Issa refuses to allow woman to testify and Virginia reverts to the Dark Ages.
From the Huffington Post
The morning panel at the hearing consisted exclusively of men from conservative religious organizations.
“What I want to know is, where are the women?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked Issa before walking out of the hearing after the first panel. “I look at this panel, and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
Democrats say they tried to invite another witness — a young woman — to testify, but were blocked by Republicans.
Issa said at the hearing that he rejected the Democrats’ female witness, Sandra Fluke, because, as a Georgetown University law student who “appears to have become energized over this issue,” she was “not appropriate or qualified.” He said that in lieu of allowing her to speak at the hearing, he instructed his staff to post a video online of Fluke speaking at a previous press conference.
Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) complained about the matter in a letter to Issa on Wednesday.
“When my staff inquired about requesting minority witnesses for this hearing, we were informed that you would allow only one,” Cummings wrote. “Based on your decision, we requested as our minority witness a third-year Georgetown University Law Center student named Sandra Fluke. I believed it was critical to have at least one woman at the witness table who could discuss the repercussions that denying coverage for contraceptives has on women across this country.”
In his letter, Cummings wrote that Issa’s staff told Democrats that the chair had decided, “As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”
Meahwhile, in Virginia:
This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.
Del. C. Todd Gilbert announced that “in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience.”
Virginia Democrat Del. David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert’s statement “is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue,” recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.”
…this week the Legislature also enacted a “personhood” law defining life as beginning at conception—a law that may someday criminalize contraception and some miscarriages as well as abortion.
I don’t even have the words to describe how scary this shit is. And it’s all due to religion.