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Results tagged “Darrell Issa” from Blog for Choice

One Year Later: Sandra Fluke's Moving Testimony on Birth Control


Ali Tweedt is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's communications and online advocacy strategies department.

This time last year, I went to Capitol Hill to watch a hearing on the no-cost birth-control policy under the Affordable Care Act.

The only pro-choice witness who came to speak in support of the policy, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, was denied the chance to testify at anti-choice Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) now-infamous all-male panel attacking contraceptive coverage.

Rep. Issa refused to let Sandra testify about the importance of no-cost birth control because she was "unqualified."

I was fortunate to attend that hearing, and I'll never forget the look of complete disbelief from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) as she walked out of the hearing in protest, demanding an answer to the obvious question:

"Where are the women?"

Pro-choice members of Congress made sure Sandra was not silenced. On February 23, 2012, they held their own hearing so that she could finally share her testimony. I remember sitting in that room captivated while listening to Sandra tell the stories of women whose lives depended on affordable birth control.

Sandra's testimony in support of birth-control coverage - and the personal attacks she endured because she dared to speak out on this critical issue - helped galvanize pro-choice Americans to fight back against the War on Women.

Rush Limbaugh sank to a new low when he called her a "slut" and a "prostitute." Despite his anti-choice attacks, Sandra Fluke became a household name as a champion for women's freedom and privacy by giving a voice to the many women who struggle to pay for birth control they desperately need:

"This is the message that not requiring coverage of contraception sends: a woman's reproductive-health care isn't a necessity, isn't a priority."

One year ago, Sandra Fluke took a stand in support of women's access to no-cost birth-control coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And today, we continue the fight to ensure that all women have access to the essential reproductive-health care that they deserve.


Stand up for the no-cost birth-control policy by taking action to protect women's health.

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The Road to No-Cost Birth Control


We mark one of the biggest advancements in women's health this week. Beginning Wednesday, August 1st, women's preventative health care will be more accessible and more affordable, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Among many of the first phase benefits, the law requires insurance companies to start covering contraception without a copay for some women.

This means two things:

  1. We couldn't have won this huge advancement for women's health without pro-choice President Obama in the White House.
  2. Anti-choice groups and politicians are up in arms opposing near-universal birth-control coverage for women.

Our opponents are so outraged, they have been trying to derail this policy for months.

The road no-cost birth control has definitely has definitely been bumpy. Let's go back in time for a second.

Who could forget the all-male panel on birth control? Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) held a hearing attacking contraceptive coverage that featured an all-male panel. He refused to allow Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke to testify because she was "unqualified."

Then we faced the Blunt amendment. It would've let the owner of a fast-food joint or any business deny employees insurance plans that cover birth control. Thankfully the amendment was defeated in the U.S. Senate.

But our opponents didn't let this set them back. Instead, they carried through with an anti-choice measure on the ballot in North Dakota that also would have allowed employers who oppose contraception to deny such coverage to their employees.

The voters of North Dakota would not be silenced about their distaste for the measure, and they rejected it by a 64 to 32 percent margin.

Within weeks of this pro-choice win, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and ensured that millions of Americans would have access to affordable care and birth-control coverage.


With this official stamp of approval, you might have assumed that the anti-birth control campaign would back down. But to the contrary, the anti-choice political machine reared its head and came down even harder on choice.

To date, we face 24 lawsuits and seven bills in Congress challenging the contraceptive-coverage policy.

So what's next?

NARAL Pro-Choice America and our state affiliates are pushing back against these attacks on contraceptive coverage through national and regional media channels, online advocacy, and grassroots events throughout the month of August.

And you can get involved!

Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and other Senators will host a tele-town hall to inform constituents about the benefits that start kicking in on August 1.

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET RSVP and get the exact time of the call by emailing

And if you live in St. Paul, Minnesota; Concord, New Hampshire; Columbus, Ohio; or Richmond, Virginia, we hope you join us in-person on August 1.


In partnership with our state affiliates, we are organizing local events to stop these attacks. Send us an email with your name and the city you live in, and we'll get you details.

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The Woman Rep. Issa Didn't Want You to Hear From


Kristin Koch is the deputy director of communications for online advocacy strategies for NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The picture says it all:

All Male Panel.jpg

Yesterday's congressional hearing on contraception, where not one woman was allowed to talk about the importance of birth control, sparked outrage. And eight of the ten anti-choice witnesses were men.

Who is the woman the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to let testify?

Let us introduce you to Sandra Fluke, who recorded this video:

It's, in a word, amazing. It shows pure courage to stand up for what's right and a determination to not allow members of Congress to bully or intimidate women.

Anti-contraception members of Congress didn't silence Sandra Fluke - don't let them silence you. We expect the U.S. Senate to vote on the Blunt amendment when they return from their recess next week. Help us stop this extreme attack on women's contraceptive coverage.

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This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on President Obama's policy ensuring that all women can get contraceptive coverage without a copay.

The hearing featured an all-male witness panel that attacked insurance coverage of birth control.

Before the hearing, the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to let a female law-school student to testify about the importance of birth control.

But let's leave the testimony to the experts--the eight men who want to take away women's contraception-coverage.

To draw attention to this farce of a hearing, several congresswomen on the committee walked out in protest.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said the hearing was being run "like an autocratic regime."

While women were cut out of the hearing, they did make their presence known outside the committee room. A group of NARAL Pro-Choice America employees joined pro-choice lawmakers for a press conference to highlight Rep. Issa's outrageous behavior in forbidding women from testifying at a hearing on birth control!

Are you appalled by what happened this morning? Let Rep. Issa know: (202) 225-3906 or tweet @DarrellIssa.

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Rep. Issa: What Do Women Know about Birth Control?


Thumbnail for version as of 01:52, 21 February 2007

Anti-choice lawmakers' war on contraception has just gone from over the top to over the top-er.

This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is holding a hearing on President Obama's policy ensuring that all women can get contraceptive coverage without a copay.

The hearing will feature 10 witnesses--eight of whom are men; none of them is testifying in support of contraceptive coverage.

The committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to let a female law-school student testify about the importance of birth control.

I guess women who use birth control just don't know as much about it as men who are against it.

If you think this is ridiculous/outrageous/appalling, let Rep. Issa know: (202) 225-3906 or tweet @DarrellIssa.

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