REPS CLARKE, LESKO INTRODUCE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION DIRECTING NIH TO CONDUCT UNPRECEDENTED MENOPAUSE RESEARCH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 14, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) introduced H.R. 6749, the Menopause Research and Equity Act of 2023, which requires the National Institute of Health to evaluate the results and status of completed and ongoing research related to menopause, perimenopause, or mid-life women’s health, to conduct and support additional such research, and for other purposes.
“For too long, menopause has remained stigmatized, or even ignored entirely. Women facing this common, natural condition are told to be silent and hide their struggles, only because they may make men uncomfortable. We are told these life changes are just the burden of being a woman. All the while, the nation-wide attack on women’s bodies has only continued to erode our rights,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “A woman’s value should not be defined by the end of her fertility. It’s Congress’ responsibility to support the millions of women facing menopause to confront their new normal, as well as to help them thrive and reach their full potential in mid-life and beyond. And the meaningful resources within my legislation will do just that.”
“I’m proud to be the Republican lead on the bipartisan Menopause Research and Equity Act, which requires the NIH to conduct further research on vital components of women’s health. We hope that our colleagues will join together to approve this legislation and provide a brighter future for our daughters and granddaughters,” said Congresswoman Lesko.
“Let’s Talk Menopause was born out of a need to bring light to the menopause journey—a phase that every woman experiences yet often navigates in silence. The Menopause Research and Equity Act is the next step in the cause we’ve dedicated ourselves to. It’s about time we normalize menopause, equipping women with the resources and support they need to embrace this phase with confidence and pride,” said Donna Klassen, Co-Founder of Let’s Talk Menopause.
“At the National Menopause Foundation, our goal has always been to bring menopause to the forefront of health conversations. The Menopause Research and Equity Act is a crucial milestone in this journey, offering an opportunity to transform understanding and care for women at this critical life stage. This legislation represents a significant advance in empowering women through education, support, and research-focused on menopause,” said Claire Gill, Founder & President of the National Menopause Foundation.
“The Menopause Research and Equity Act marks a watershed moment in our journey towards comprehensive women’s health rights. It’s a clear signal that the experiences and needs of women are finally being recognized and prioritized. This act is more than just a policy change; it’s a reflection of our commitment to ensuring that every aspect of women’s health is understood, respected, and adequately addressed,” said Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, Executive Director of NYU’s Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Center and LTM Board Member.
“This act represents a monumental shift in how we approach women’s health, particularly during menopause. It acknowledges the complexities and varied experiences of menopausal women, paving the way for more nuanced research and healthcare. As a gynecologist deeply invested in this field, I see this as a critical step towards providing women with the comprehensive and empathetic care they deserve at every stage of life,” said Robin Noble MD, Medical Director, Intermed; Board member & Chief Medical Advisor of LTM.
“Discovering the power of shared experiences during menopause has been a transformative journey. The Menopause Research and Equity Act is not just legislation; it’s a validation of millions of women’s experiences. It’s a movement towards a society where the transition of menopause is met with open dialogue, support, and the care it deserves,” said Tamsen Fadal Journalist; author; menopause advocate; Let’s Talk Menopause Board Member and LTM Ambassador.
“Understanding menopause’s impact on mental health is as crucial as addressing its physical symptoms. The Menopause Research and Equity Act brings this vital aspect to light, advocating for comprehensive care that encompasses both physical health and mental health issues in Menopause. It is also important to address the disparities in menopause care in black women because they are undertreated yet experience more severe menopause symptoms,” said Judith Joseph MD, MBA, Board Certified Psychiatrist, Chair, Women in Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Clinical Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU Langone Medical Center, Principal Investigator, Manhattan Behavioral Medicine; LTM Medical Advisory Board.
“In my dual role as a urologist and sexual medicine expert, I’ve seen how critical comprehensive care is for women’s sexual health, particularly during menopause. The Menopause Research and Equity Act represents a much-needed focus in healthcare. It’s not just about providing care; it’s about understanding the unique sexual health challenges women face at this stage and addressing them with the respect and depth they require,” said Rachel Rubin MD, Urologist & Sexual Medicine Specialist; Education Chair for The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH) , LTM Medical Advisory Board.
“Menopause has long been a topic shrouded in silence, often viewed through the lens of aging rather than as a significant health phase. The Menopause Research and Equity Act is a monumental step in changing this narrative. It’s about opening up conversations, dispelling myths, and ensuring that women have the resources and support they need to navigate menopause confidently,” said Mary Jane Minkin MD, OB/GYN; Clinical Professor, Yale Medical School, LTM Medical Advisory Board.
“My tenure at the National Consumers League has been marked by a steadfast commitment to advancing healthcare reform and consumer rights. The Menopause Research and Equity Act is a crucial development in this arena, as it addresses a gap in women’s healthcare that is often overlooked. This act embodies the principles of consumer advocacy and protection that I have championed, particularly in ensuring equitable access and safe medication use for all women experiencing menopause,” said Sally Greenberg JD, Executive Director of The National Consumers League.
“Through my work, I’ve seen the profound impact of breaking down myths around women’s health. The Menopause Research and Equity Act opens doors to better understanding and managing menopause, transforming it from a whispered-about topic to an openly discussed health issue. This is about empowering women with the tools to live their best lives, regardless of their stage in life,” said Kelly Casperson MD, Urologist, LTM Medical Advisory Board.
“Understanding perimenopause and menopause is not just a matter of women’s health; it is an initial investment in ensuring the well-being of generations of women to come. By supporting The Menopause Research and Equity Act, we can begin to unravel the complexities of these life phases, uncover the intersectionality with chronic health conditions, and ensure each woman’s lived experience is at the forefront of research and healthcare – something that embodies the mission of Let’s Talk Menopause,” said Cathy Rought Jacobson Board Member Let’s Talk Menopause and President & CEO of Integritas Public Affairs.
“My work has always been driven by the belief that we need to embrace and openly discuss menopause. The Menopause Research and Equity Act does more than just allocate funds; it shifts societal attitudes towards aging and women’s health. This legislation is a crucial step towards acknowledging the rich, productive lives women lead post-menopause and ensuring they have the information and support they need to navigate this transition with confidence and dignity,” saidSharon Malone MD, Chief Medical Advisor, Alloy, LTM Medical Advisory Board.
“Throughout my career in women’s health, I’ve seen firsthand the complexities and challenges of menopause care. The Menopause Research and Equity Act isn’t just legislation; it’s a beacon for advancing our understanding and treatment of menopause. It’s about giving women the comprehensive care they’ve long deserved, something I’ve been advocating for in my practice,” said Lisa Larkin MD, Founder & CEO, Ms. Medicine.
“As a psychologist deeply invested in women’s sexual and reproductive health, I applaud the introduction of the Menopause Research and Equity Act. This legislation is not just about healthcare; it’s about acknowledging the complex interplay of biological and psychological factors women face during menopause. It’s a commitment to advancing our understanding and treatment of menopause symptoms and ensuring women receive the holistic care that is crucial during this phase of life,” said Sheryl Kingsberg PhD, Chief of Behavioral Medicine, University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center, LTM Medical Advisory Board.
Specifically, the Menopause Research and Equity Act of 2023 would:
- Direct the National Institutes of Health to evaluate current menopause-related research and submit a report to Congress on its findings.
- Identify the total amount of funding allocated by the National Institutes of Health for the conduct or support of menopause-related research, and research on midlife women’s health over the preceding 5 fiscal years.
The full bill text is available here.
Photographs from the legislation’s introductory press conference are available here.