A lack of women in a photo of negotiations over the Republicans' health care bill that was tweeted out by the vice president is drawing criticism from Democrats and other critics concerned over the bill's repercussions for women's health.
The photo shows Vice President Mike Pence at the center of a conference table during negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus. About two dozen men can be seen in the photo and not a single woman.
Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray drew attention to the absence of women in the room by retweeting the photo and sarcastically adding, "A rare look inside the GOP's women's health caucus."
A repeal of a maternity care requirement is among the concessions the Freedom Caucus is demanding in exchange for support of the bill.
There were more sources of outrage for supporters of government funding for women's health care on Thursday.
A Republican senator had to apologize for a comment about the possibility the bill would ease federal requirements on coverage of basic services like mammograms.
"I wouldn't want to lose my mammograms," said Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas when asked about the bill's potential changes in an interview with a reporter for Talking Points Memo.
He later tweeted an apology: "I deeply regret my comments on a very important topic. Mammograms are essential to women's health & I never intended to indicate otherwise."
The comment had drawn flak on social media, as did another on women's health issues by White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
Asked about the issue, he said, "I think if you're an older man, you probably won't need maternity coverage."
There were 10.5 million children born in the U.S. with fathers between 40 and 44 years old between the years 2006 and 2010, according a National Health Statistics report.
President Donald Trump had his youngest child at the age of 59.