Kamala Harris introduces bill to tackle uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids have a disproportionate impact on Black women.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at a hearing of the Homeland Security Committee attended by acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan at the Capitol Building on June 25, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alexander Drago-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Kamala Harris has introduced a new bill that will fund research and education on uterine fibroids. In July 2007, fellow lawmaker, Representative Yvette D. Clarke, underwent surgery to treat fibroids and has spearheaded a companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

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Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths that appear during a woman’s child-bearing years. They affect an estimated 26 million people and are the leading cause for hysterectomies.

According to The Journal of Women’s Health, uterine fibroids have a disproportionate impact on Black women, as they are 2.4 times more likely to undergo a hysterectomy. Black women are more likely to develop fibroids earlier in life and have larger fibroids.

“Complications from uterine fibroids can lead to maternal mortality and morbidity,” Harris told Refinery 29. “We have an opportunity to change that with the Uterine Fibroids Research and Education Act. I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Clarke to ensure that women get the care, support, and knowledge they need.”

The proposed bill would provide the National Institute of Health (NIH) with $30 million annually from 2021 until 2025. The funds would expand research and create a uterine fibroids public education program through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), expand and improve data collection on which groups are affected by uterine fibroids, and more.

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One of the many organizations that supports Harris’s bill is “The White Dress Project,” which not only raises funds, but also supports those who are faced with the difficulty of managing life with fibroids.

In a Twitter post on July 30 Sen. Harris wrote, “So many of you have shared your experience with uterine fibroids in the comments. Thank you for speaking out–your stories matter and they must be heard.”

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