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Women’S Health In The Twilight Zone

The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Wisconsin (Ms. Moore) for 5 minutes.

Rep. Gwen Moore

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, lately, I along with many other women have felt like we're a mere supporting cast in an episode of ``The Twilight Zone.'' I can just hear the narration of the show saying:

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. That is the signpost up ahead: Your next stop, the Twilight Zone.

The rhetoric espoused over the last few weeks by many conservatives has me feeling as if I'm in an alternative political universe where men say the most oddly absurd things about what women should be doing with their bodies. In this universe, the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform holds hearings on women's health and contraception with a panel made up completely of men.

This may seem odd to you folks out there in the real world; but in this alternate reality, it makes perfectly good sense that a bunch of middle-aged men, devoid of ovaries and uteruses, would be experts on women's reproductive health. In this alternate universe, you wouldn't dare ask a woman to testify on women's health and what it means to be a woman. You wouldn't invite them to talk about what it means to be susceptible to pregnancy for approximately 30 years of their lives and how important birth control is to women who wish to prevent unintended pregnancies and to preserve their health. You surely wouldn't ask a woman to testify about how birth control has helped them prevent various diseases or manage diseases like endometriosis.

While it would be nice to believe we're in the twilight zone, the recent ploys of Republicans against women's health are all frighteningly too real. In reality, this hearing did take place with the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee blocking the testimony of women, women like Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, who later testified during a special hearing convened by Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of a fellow female student at Georgetown University who had been denied contraception coverage because of the university's Catholic affiliation. Her friend experienced complications stemming from ovarian cysts that could have been treated with birth control. Sadly, due to nontreatment, doctors eventually were forced to remove her ovary.

There are so many stories just like this that need to be told; but, sadly, you won't hear them on Capitol Hill if my Republican colleagues in the majority have anything to do with it. They are too busy silencing women's voices on these very critical issues.

What if there was a hearing held on access to Viagra or vasectomies with a panel of experts being a group of six women? Could you imagine the outrage if women were allowed to legislate what happens to men's bodies? The horror.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Speaker, this twilight zone is real. This attack on women's health is real, but the battle is not over. We cannot and will not allow a few to silence the voices of millions of women across this country. We must continue to stand up for women and their reproductive health.