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Black Women's Health Advocates Applaud Legislation To Address The Uterine Fibroid Crisis

The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2021 Would Fund 150 Million to Research Condition Affecting 80% of Black Women by Age 50.

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Shelley Capito (R-WV) introduced the Senate companion bill to the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2021, legislation that would appropriate $30 million to the National Institutes of Health for fiscal years 2022 through 2026 and establish a research database for treatment of fibroids. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) introduced the House legislation in March 2021.

"Uterine fibroids are a health threat that urgently requires research, resources, and improved treatment options."

Uterine fibroids, noncancerous tumors that grow in the uterus and range from the size of a pea to that of a football or larger, affect an estimated 26 million U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 50. Black women, hit hardest by fibroids, are diagnosed at nearly three times the rate of white women and with more severe symptoms leading to increased hospitalizations and infertility. 

"There is not adequate data to understand why Black women are affected more frequently and with more severe complications from uterine fibroids," said Linda Goler Blount, President and CEO of the Black Women's Health Imperative (BWHI). "Uterine fibroids are a health threat that urgently requires research, community resources, and improved treatment options that preserve fertility. BWHI supports this legislation because it will increase funding for uterine fibroid research and lead to new evidence-based treatments and cures for women of color." 

"The introduction of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2021 is a monumental step for women and girls everywhere," said Tanika Gray Valbrun, Founder and CEO of The White Dress Project. "There is much more work to be done to address the uterine fibroid crisis. We need more education, more research, and full commitment from our policymakers to address healthcare inequities and to understand why fibroids disproportionately affect Black women."

In addition to the increased funding for research, the bipartisan Senate bill would coordinate data collection on services provided to women who experience symptoms of uterine fibroids, create a public education program to disseminate information on the incidence and prevalence of uterine fibroids among women - especially focusing on the elevated risk among women of color — and the available treatment options. 

Both health advocacy groups, along with Society for Women's Health Research, will virtually descend on Capitol Hill on July 27, 2021, bringing patients and physicians from around the country together for "Speak Up Day" to call for passage of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2021. This advocacy day coincides with the conclusion of Fibroid Awareness Month.

About the Black Women's Health Imperative:

Established originally as the National Black Women's Health Project in 1983, BWHI is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation's 21 million Black women and girls - physically, emotionally, and financially.  Our core mission is advancing health equity and social justice for Black women, across the lifespan, through policy, advocacy, education, research, and leadership development. For more information please visit www.bwhi.org

About the White Dress Project:

The White Dress Project is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to raise global awareness about the uterine fibroid (UF) epidemic through education, research, community, and advocacy. We fulfill this mission by advocating for research funding, highlighting reproductive health inequities, educating many on fibroids and their treatment options, and empowering a community who will advocate for their best health choices and no longer suffer in silence with this chronic illness. www.thewhitedressproject.org.

Media Contact(s): Priscilla Clarke, Black Women's Health Imperative, (202) 723-2200 Amber English Coleman, The White Dress Project, (612) 554-5705

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SOURCE Black Women's Health Imperative