CLARKE INTRODUCES THE STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES UTERINE FIBROID RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ACT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 12, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke joined her colleagues and community health advocates to introduce the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research And Education Act of 2023, which would revolutionize uterine fibroid care in the nation and acknowledge fibroids as the serious health crisis it is.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Establish new research funding through NIH, totaling $150 million over five years;
- Expand a CMS database on chronic conditions to include information on services provided to individuals with fibroids;
- Create a public education program through the CDC; and
- Direct HRSA to develop and disseminate fibroids information to health care providers.
The bill also highlights the need for improved patient and provider education surrounding the heightened risk for fibroids faced by women of color.
“In a nation where approximately 25 percent of all Black women will suffer from uterine fibroids before their 25th birthday, there exists a glaring, tragic health inequity that must be addressed,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Fibroids have ravaged the lives of women — particularly in the Black community — across the country, and increasing funding for research and public education related to fibroids is critical to reversing this devastating trend. The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act is an important step towards prioritizing women’s healthcare with the urgency it warrants.”
“Black women are more likely to be at risk of uterine fibroids and suffer from complications that affect their everyday lives,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. “These burdens contribute to greater overall lifetime stress, decreasing the quality of life. Fibroids are a public health issue, and I join my colleagues in advancing legislation that provides resources to relieve this suffering for women and girls everywhere.”
“An estimated 26 million people in the United States suffer from uterine fibroids. Symptoms can be debilitating, and diagnosis and treatment is often difficult to access and can impact fertility. I’m proud to support this legislation to better understand uterine fibroids and develop more effective treatments. This research is especially important for Black women, who are three times more likely than other groups to develop uterine fibroids. This bill will establish funding to increase research and awareness of uterine fibroids, and to improve access to treatment options for those suffering from uterine fibroids,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly.
“Millions of Americans, especially Black women, are living with uterine fibroids and suffering from its devastating health impacts,” said Senator Booker. “We must continue raising awareness and investing in diagnostic and treatment options to alleviate the burden of uterine fibroids. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation that will expand research efforts, improve public awareness, and promote evidence-based care for uterine fibroids. We must empower women with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health.”
“That there are still so many unknowns about uterine fibroids, especially given their prevalence and burden, is unacceptable,” said Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, President and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research. “It has been more than 20 years since the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act was first introduced. Women’s health research is underfunded and undervalued, and the lack of attention to uterine fibroids and the health disparities associated with them are illustrative that we are long past due for action on this legislation. SWHR is grateful to Congresswoman Clarke for her continued efforts to take this legislation across the finish line and encourages other members of Congress to expeditiously pass this important legislation.”
“Fibroids are not just the woman’s diagnosis. When a health concern impacts 26 million women, it becomes a national health concern. Legislation to address fibroids, the most frequently diagnosed gynecologic tumor in all women, is desperately needed. We applaud Congresswoman Clarke and Congresswoman Watson Coleman for their leadership in introducing the Fibroid Bill,” said Sateria Venable, Founder and CEO of The Fibroid Foundation.
“The introduction of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2023 is a monumental step in the movement towards uterine fibroid research to uncover much-needed answers for people managing life with uterine fibroids. We are thrilled and grateful to Congresswoman Clarke for her actions and commitment to ensuring uterine fibroids research is a priority,” said Tanika Gray Valbrun, Founder and CEO of the White Dress Project. “As a community of patients and caregivers, The White Dress Project is committed to doing everything we can to ensure lawmakers understand how important these research dollars are. We live with the reality of a condition that comes with more questions than answers. Our stories, our experience, and our voice matters.”
Photos from the press conference can be viewed here.
Click here for the full text of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research And Education Act of 2023.