The image of a table of men — primarily from religious organizations — comprising a hearing devoted to birth control, became a snapshot emblematic of problems to follow. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asked the obvious question when she inquired incredulously, “Where are the women?”
Attempts by Sandra Fluke, a college student that had hoped to speak about the wide role of birth control medicine in women’s health, had been rebuffed with the statement that she wasn’t “qualified to testify.” She has since been publicly vilified by Rush Limbaugh.
For many, there was confusion about the whole conversation. Religious freedom was being pitted against women’s rights to basic health care. What exactly did it all mean for those of childbearing age?
In August 2011, a panel of experts from the Institute of Medicine had addressed how making contraception available would help impact the high rate of unplanned pregnancy.