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House Approves Women’s Health-Related Bills

On May 20, the House unanimously passed two resolutions, sponsored by Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), pertaining to women’s health. The first resolution (H. Con. Res. 165), which was approved by a vote of 363-0, expresses the sense of the Congress with respect to uterine fibroids. Recognizing “the health and educational needs of women in the United States who may be suffering from fibroids,” the resolution calls upon the “medical community to explore alternatives to hysterectomies.”

“As a firm believer in prevention, I am pleased that this resolution places such an emphasis on providing women with the information they need to make smart decisions about their health,” said Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-FL).

“It has been estimated that 20 to 30 percent of women experience fibroid tumors, even though many of the cases are not diagnosed,” said Rep. Millender-McDonald, adding, “It is paramount that the medical community explore alternatives to eliminate recurring fibroids by other than a woman having to undergo a hysterectomy.”

The second resolution (H. Con. Res. 309), which was approved by a vote of 361-0, recognizes the importance of cervical health and of detecting cervical cancer in its earliest stages. The resolution also urges health care professionals and facilities to raise public awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of early detection.

“Since many vulnerable groups of women are less likely to receive screening tests for cervical cancer, it is critical that we continue our commitment to education programs so that these women increase their utilization of these important preventative services,” said Rep. Bilirakis.

Rep. Millender-McDonald agreed, “I cannot overemphasize the need for early screening because statistical data indicates that the 5-year survival is 70 percent for all stages of cervical cancer when it is detected early.”

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