Update: 12:55 p.m. The second panel of witnesses has been brought on. Quigley has returned. There appear to be two women on this panel. For a live stream head on over to the oversight committee's website.
Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) have walked out on the House Oversight Committee's hearing on the White House mandate requiring employers and insurers to provide contraception coverage after chairman Rep. Darrell Issa failed to include any women as witnesses Thursday morning. The Huffington Post adds that Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill) as also walked out.
According to Think Progress, Issa had argued that the hearing was about religious liberty, not reproductive rights--hence no female witnesses. "When I look at this panel, I don't see one single woman representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services," Maloney said before she walked out. "Where are the women?"
Shortly after 10 a.m., the Huffington Post's Laura Bassett tweeted, "The female Democrats have left the hearing in protest because it's a farce." Bassett added that Rep. Holmes Norton has pulled her own female witness into the hallway (right) to let her speak to the press since Issa did not. Holmes Norton will not be re-entering the hearing calling it "autocratic regime." Never at a loss for words, Nancy Pelosi said she may be moved to "explain biology to my colleagues," NPR's Sonari R. Glinton reported.
Here's an edited video of the heated exchange:
And this is the all-male panel, via Planned Parenthood:
photo via: Laura Bassett's Twitter.
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