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GOP Invites Five Men To Testify On Women's Health

Transcript: Q: Madam Leader, a number of Catholic institutions are self-insured, and they say the whole notion that the insurer should pay for these services that they object to doesn't help them at all. For example, the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., is a self-insured institution. Should the Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. be required to pay for these morning after pills and birth control if they find that morally objectionable? Leader Pelosi. You are talking about birth control; you are talking about women's health. I firmly believe, I want to remove all doubt in anyone's mind on where I am on this subject. This is an issue about women's health, and I believe that women's health should be covered in all of the insurance plans that are there. Right now, as we gather here, in another part of the Capitol there is a hearing. Five men are testifying on women's health. My colleague, Carolyn Maloney of New York, who is on the committee, looked down at this panel from which a woman, who was the Democratic witness, was excluded and said: "where are the women?" And that's a good question for the whole debate. Where are the women? Where are the women on that panel? Imagine having a panel on women's health, and they do not have any women on the panel. Duh! 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 various kinds of prescription drugs for your general health, which was the testimony they would have heard 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. And I remind you, I think it's [28] states have this requirement already. So this is nothing really new. More than half of the states already have it. So this is probably a pretty good debate to have. Just think. Suppose you were, suppose you were a Christian Scientist, and you had an institution, and you said, if people work here for us, who are not Christian Scientists, or even if they are, they cannot avail themselves of any medical treatments because that's what we believe. Would that work for you? I mean, it's just, it's so, shall we say, disrespectful of the contribution that, in this case, women make to the workforce. Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women, I am told by all of you, [have used] birth control to determine the size and the timing of their families. So again, it is a women's health issue. Yes, I think that all institutions should cover and give health insurance, should cover the full range of health insurance issues for women. And I think it's really curiouser and curiouser, that as we get further into this debate, the Republican leadership of this Congress thinks it's appropriate to have a hearing on a subject of women's health and purposefully exclude women from the panel. What else do you need to know about the subject? If you need to know more, tune in. I may, I may at some point be moved to explain biology to my colleagues.