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House, Senate Approve Resolutions Concerning Women and Families

Red Ribbon Week Resolution

On September 29, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 1028) supporting the goals and ideals of Red Ribbon Week.

Sponsored by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • The purpose of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to commemorate the service of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent who died in the line of duty in 1985 while engaged in the battle against illicit drugs;
  • The governors and attorneys general of the states, the National Family Partnership, Parent Teacher Associations, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and more than 100 other organizations throughout the United States annually cosponsor Red Ribbon Week during the period of October 23 through October 31;
  • The objective of Red Ribbon Week is to promote drug-free communities through drug prevention efforts, education, parental involvement, and community-wide support;
  • Drug and alcohol abuse contributes to domestic violence and sexual assaults, and places the lives of children at risk; and
  • Although public awareness of illicit drug abuse is increasing, the silent abuse of prescription medication, with over six million such abusers, has gone almost unnoticed and demands attention.Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month Resolution

    On September 28, the House approved, by voice vote, a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 473) supporting the goals and ideals of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.

    Sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation marks its 15th anniversary in 2006;
  • The mission of the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation is to raise awareness about the prevention, early detection, and treatment of reproductive cancers;
  • Over 77,000 American women will be diagnosed with a reproductive cancer in 2006; and
  • There are screening tests and warning signs for reproductive cancers, and early detection leads to improved survival for all female reproductive cancers.Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day Resolution

    On September 28, the House approved, by voice vote, a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 222) sponsored by Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) supporting the goals and ideals of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

    Each year, approximately one million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn baby. The resolution states that the purpose of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is to provide an opportunity to increase the public understanding of tragedies involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. Such recognition would further enable people to consider how they can meet the needs of bereaved family members, and to work to prevent future deaths.

    Infant Mortality Awareness Month Resolution

    On September 28, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 402) supporting the goals and ideals of Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

    Sponsored by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • Infant Mortality refers to the death of a baby before it reaches its first birthday;
  • The United States ranks 28th among industrialized nations in the rate of infant mortality;
  • Infant mortality increased in 2002 for the first time in more than four decades, reaching seven deaths per 1000 live births, the first increase since 1958;
  • The recent increase is a significant and troubling public health issue, especially for African American families, Native American families, and Hispanic families;
  • The infant mortality rate among African American women is more than double that of Caucasian women; and
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services has designated 2010 as the year by which certain objectives should be met with respect to the health status of the people of the United States, which include a decrease in the rate of infant mortality.Financial Planning Week Resolution

    On September 28, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 973) sponsored by Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) recognizing the week beginning October 2 as “Financial Planning Week,” acknowledging the significant impact of sound financial planning on achieving life’s goals, and honoring families and the financial planning profession for their adherence and dedication to the financial planning process.

    After-School Resolution

    On September 27, the House approved, by voice vote, a concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 478) sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) supporting the goals and ideals of “Lights On Afterschool!,” an annual event celebrating after-school programs. The Senate approved the measure on September 21 (see The Source, 9/22/06).

    Rep. Lowey said, “According to a study conducted by the Afterschool Alliance, 40 percent of middle school children, the age when kids are most vulnerable to engaging in dangerous activities, are unsupervised for a good portion of the day. Parents are crying out for safe, structured environments where their kids can learn and play, make friends and develop new interests. Yet Congress is not doing what it should to ensure that our kids are safe and engaged while their parents are at work…The Congressional Afterschool Caucus and the Lights On celebration will focus on changing that.” She emphasized that the Congressional Afterschool Caucus’ mission is “to build support for [afterschool] programs within Congress and to translate that support into sufficient funding to meet the growing demands for after-school initiatives.”

    Runaway Youth Prevention Month Resolution

    On September 27, the House approved, by voice vote, a resolution (H. Res. 1009) supporting efforts to promote greater public awareness of effective runaway youth prevention programs and the need for safe and productive alternatives, resources, and supports for homeless youth and youth in other high-risk situations.

    Sponsored by Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • The prevalence of runaway and homeless youth is staggering, with studies suggesting that between 1.6 million and 2.8 million young people live on the streets of the United States each year;
  • Youth that end up on the streets or in emergency shelters are often those who have been thrown out of their homes by their families; who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused at home; who have been discharged by state custodial systems without adequate transition plans; who have lost their parents through death or divorce; and who are too poor to secure their own basic needs;
  • The commemoration of National Runaway Prevention Month will encourage all sectors of society to develop community-based solutions to prevent runaway and homeless episodes among the nation’s youth; and
  • The future well-being of the nation is dependent on the value placed on young people and the opportunities provided for youth to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop into safe, healthy and productive adults.Rep. Tom Osborne (R-NE) stated, “The primary factors of running away or being turned out of a home are severe family conflict, abuse and neglect, and parental abuse of alcohol and drugs.” He said, however, “Many of the conditions…are preventable through interventions that can strengthen families and support youth in high-risk situations. Successful interventions are grounded in partnerships among families, community-based human service agencies, law enforcement agencies, schools, faith-based organizations, and even businesses.”

    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) stated that this resolution should “reemphasize and thank those who are out with our young people, the various ministries, the Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, but, as well, the agencies that go out during the night to find these young people.” She continued, “But, again, it should say that we are not doing enough. And we should also say that there are role models, that there is something to live for, and that we should not be ashamed of trying to enhance the funding to provide transitional pathways for young people to transition into adulthood, provide them with interim housing as they move from 17, 18, 19, which causes them to be homeless.”

    Global Family Day Resolution

    On September 25, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 582) sponsored by Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) requesting the President to issue an annual proclamation for the observance of “Global Family Day, One Day of Peace and Sharing.” The House approved the measure on September 19 (see The Source, 9/22/06).


    Breast and Cervical Cancer Program Reauthorization Approved by House CommitteeOn September 27, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved, 45-0, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) Reauthorization Act of 2006 (H.R. 5472) after adopting, by voice vote, a substitute amendment by Chair Joe Barton (R-TX). The bill would reauthorize the NBCCEDP through the year 2020. The Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-354) established the NBCCEDP at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program provides cervical cancer screenings for low-income women aged 18-64 and breast cancer screening, including mammograms, for low-income women aged 40-64. In 2000, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-354) gave states the option to provide medical assistance through Medicaid to eligible women who were screened for and found to have breast or cervical cancer, including precancerous conditions, through NBCCEDP.

    The substitute amendment provides the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services with the authority to grant two-year waivers to states in limited circumstances, allowing them to direct more resources to outreach efforts that target rural and/or other underserved populations.

    Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC), who sponsored the legislation, said, “The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is one of the most active programs in all our states and districts. In 2004, 4,000 breast cancers and 2,000 high-grade cervical lesions were detected by the program.” Rep. Myrick continued, saying, “When I was going through treatment [for breast cancer], it occurred to me that some women would be diagnosed, but that diagnosis would be a death sentence because they didn’t have treatment. In 2000, we added the optional Medicaid treatment to assist these women. I was proud to work on that legislation and I am proud that we are reauthorizing the program today.”

    “This program helps low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women gain access to screenings, education, outreach, and case management,” said Democratic cosponsor Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “The program has conducted more than four and a half million screening exams and diagnosed roughly 80,000 cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions since its inception. Early detection vastly increases survival. This reauthorization will strengthen the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program by allowing states with rural and other underserved areas to apply for time-limited waivers to serve more women,” she said.

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