Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birth Control Testimony Silenced Again

Sandra Fluke was the only female witness scheduled for the Republican hearing on birth control last week, but Committee Chairman Darrell Issa would not allow her to testify. On Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi announced that the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee would meet to hear Fluke's testimony. However, the Committee was denied use of the House Recording Studio by Republican House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungen, thereby preventing Fluke's testimony from being aired. This goes against a longstanding policy that has allowed such hearings to be broadcasted.

The Huffington Post obtained Fluke's testimony and made it available to the public. The testimony is quite moving. In it, Fluke discusses the devastating economic impact of having to pay for birth control out of pocket. She also highlights how the impact is even graver when the birth control is prescribed for conditions polysistic ovarian syndrome, as was the case for one of Fluke's friends. Both are students at Georgetown which means contraceptives are not covered in their student insurance. The friend could no longer afford to pay $100 a month for birth control and was forced to stop taking it. It wasn't long before a cyst ruptured on her ovary and doctor's removed the ovary.

Fluke also takes Congress to task for minimalizing the cost of birth control and putting the responsibility of providing birth control onto non-profit clinics while simultaneously cutting the funding of those same clinics.

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