Washington (CNN) - A week ago, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridiculed a hearing organized by Republicans for featuring a panel of all male witnesses on the president's contraception policy.
On Thursday she's keeping the issue front and center and having her own event featuring a female witness the GOP barred from testifying.
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Sandra Fluke, a 24-year-old Georgetown University Law student who supports the Obama administration's policy requiring health insurers to offer birth control coverage to women who work at religiously-affiliated organizations, will be the sole witness before Pelosi's all Democratic Policy Committee.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, turned down a request last week from Democrats to have Fluke testify at his hearing, touching off a backlash from women's groups.
After the first panel featuring five male representatives from religious organizations took its place at the witness table, New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney chastised the GOP chairman, and asked, "Where are the women?"
While two women did testify on an afternoon panel, they - like the other witnesses invited by the GOP - opposed the new health care regulations.
Issa told Democrats during the hearing Fluke wasn't "appropriate or qualified" to participate because the subject was religious freedom, and not about health care or contraception.
Fluke's prepared testimony last week featured details of several fellow female students from Jesuit University who were denied contraceptive coverage because of its Catholic affiliation. One classmate of Fluke's who took birth control pills to deal with ovarian cysts, but stopped after she was denied coverage, suffered complications and doctors were forced to remove her ovary.
The Obama administration's decision to require contraception coverage by health care plans, even those offered by religiously affiliated groups that oppose birth control, has ignited a fierce and emotional debate on Capitol Hill.
Despite the backlash from leading Catholic groups that object to the policy, many Democrats believe the issue is really about women's health, not religion, and when cast in those terms they believe it will rally support in an election year.
But many Republicans argue the president's policy violates a constitutional right to religious freedom, and believe most Americans, regardless of faith, will agree that it's not the government's role to dictate what religiously affiliated groups must do.
Last week a CNN/ORC International poll demonstrated the stark division over the issue – 50% of those asked about the administration's policy disapprove, with 44% saying they approve. Democrats overwhelmingly support the policy, while Republicans overwhelmingly oppose it.
At the same time Pelosi's office announced plans for the Thursday session to debate the policy, her aides claimed that House Republicans were attempting to silence Fluke again, telling reporters that the Democratic leader's request for coverage by House-operated TV cameras was turned down.
While outside media organizations will be allowed to cover the Democratic event, House TV cameras–which regularly show congressional hearings on an internal Capitol Hill cable system–will not be.
According to Pelosi's office, the House TV operation, known as the House Recording studio, said it only covers floor debates and official committee proceedings, not unofficial sessions convened by one party. But Pelosi's office noted that numerous other hearings she chaired were covered by the House TV cameras, and was surprised by the change.
Dan Weiser, spokesman for the Chief Administrative Officer's office, which oversees the House Recording Studio, told CNN the office has a long-standing policy.
"This policy has been in place for several years; it has been strictly enforced for several months. As a result, requests from both sides of the aisle have been denied," Wesier said in a written statement.
Democrats insisted the decision reversed an agreement that both parties reached several years ago to cover all events sponsored by top Congressional leaders.
Seizing on the issue, the House Democrats' campaign arm circulated an online petition Wednesday arguing the GOP was "censoring" the hearing and asked supporters to sign a petition urging House Republican leaders "to reverse their disgraceful decision."
As Pelosi's event proves, this issue is not going away any time soon. Both opponents and proponents of the president's policy have vowed to continue highlighting it.
The Senate is expected to vote next week on a bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri that would repeal the administration's health care regulation requiring birth control coverage.
House Speaker John Boehner, who made a rare floor speech opposing the president's position, pledged the House would take action to undo the policy, but has not specified how or when. Boehner directed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which deals with health care issues, to examine the policy.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify next week about her agency's budget before that committee and is expected to be peppered with questions about the HHS policy. Separately, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing early next week on constitutional issues surrounding religious liberty.
Nebraska Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry introduced a bill in the House similar to Blunt's. Fortenberry's office announced Tuesday that the measure has 213 co-sponsors, including Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, and an aide told CNN she expects a majority of the House will sign onto the measure when the it returns from recess next week.