Oversight Committee Democrats are focused on preserving home ownership, getting America back to work, ensuring quality, affordable health care, and giving all students access to a high-quality education.
Our aggressive agenda works to root out waste, fraud and abuse in government spending, enhance transparency, and ensure that the needs of Americans are put ahead of corporate special interest.
We are committed to supporting our troops and veterans, protecting American consumers, and safeguarding national and homeland security.
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|Sandra Fluke Finally Testifies Before Congress|
Reacts to Nationwide Campaign to Roll Back Access to Contraceptives
Washington, DC— Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, and Congresswomen Eleanor Holmes Norton and Carolyn Maloney held a Democratic Steering and Policy Committee event today to hear testimony from Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student who was denied the opportunity to appear at a Committee hearing last week to discuss the critical importance of contraceptives to millions of women across the country.
During her testimony today, Fluke responded to questions from Ranking Member Cummings about the nationwide campaign being conducted at both the state and federal levels to roll back women’s access to contraceptives. “Contraception when it first became available was a revolution in this country,” said Fluke. “It allowed women to enter employment and educational opportunities that had previously not been accessible because they were unable to control their reproduction in the same way. I just cannot imagine rolling back the clock on that progress.”
Cummings praised Fluke for giving voice to millions of women across the country. “Now you have not only the Congress listening to you, but you have the country listening to you, and that is a powerful, powerful thing,” said Cummings. Click here for Cummings’ full opening statement.
BACKGROUND ON NATIONWIDE CAMPAIGN TO ROLL BACK WOMEN’S ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTIVES
*For a PDF version of this document, please click here.*
During a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on February 16, 2012, Chairman Darrell Issa refused to allow third-year Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify about the critical importance of contraceptives to millions of women across the country. Claiming that the hearing would address only issues relating to religious freedom, Chairman Issa stated that Ms. Fluke is “a college student who appears to have become energized over this issue,” that she is not “appropriate or qualified” to testify, and that she does “not have the appropriate credentials” to appear before the Committee.
Recent efforts to use religious and moral grounds to deny women coverage of birth control are not isolated incidents, but rather part of a nationwide campaign being conducted at both the state and federal levels to outlaw many forms of commonly used contraceptives. These efforts include legislation and ballot initiatives in various states, as well as legislation proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that are intended to outlaw the pill, emergency contraceptives, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
State Proposals to Outlaw Contraceptives
The initiative would protect a prenatal person regardless of whether or not the prenatal person would live, grow, or develop in the womb or survive birth; prevent all abortions even in the case of rape, incest, or serious threats to the women’s health or life, or when a woman is suffering from a miscarriage, or as an emergency treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. The initiative will impact some rights Nevada women currently have to utilize some forms of birth control, including the “pill;” and to access certain fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization. The initiative will affect embryonic stem cell research, which offers potential for treating diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and others.
Federal Proposals to Outlaw or Deny Coverage of Contraceptives
Federal “Personhood” Legislation:
Committee On Oversight and Government Reform
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