US Senators Weigh in on Key Health Issues Facing Women for

512In honor of National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17), Women’s Health Magazine – named a National Partner for the week by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Women’s Health – is creating a platform to inspire women to not only to be active, but to make overall health and wellness a priority.

Women’s Health asked several women in the Senate to weigh in on key health issues facing women today by penning blog posts for After the jump is a preview of what Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL) , and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) offer the conversation, beginning 5.11.14.


Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) (co-written blog): The Need-to-Know on…..Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening

“In 2007, we worked together across the Dome—Tammy in the House and Barbara in the Senate—to reform and refresh this bill by giving states additional flexibility, to make sure that women in need could continue to access lifesaving screening and diagnostic services and reliable follow up care. Now we’re teamed up in the Senate, working together again to make sure this critical program continues to serve women across the country.”

“We strongly believe that all women should have access to the most current breast and cervical cancer detection and treatment technologies. That’s why we’ll continue to make sure women have access to the critical services they need to maintain their health.”


Senator Patty Murray (D-WA): The Need-to-Know on…..Birth Control Access

“What’s at stake in these cases is whether a CEO’s personal beliefs can trump a woman’s right to access free or low-cost contraception under the Affordable Care Act. I strongly believe every American deserves to have access to high quality health care coverage, regardless of where they work, and in January I led eighteen of my Senate colleagues in filing an amicus brief with the court reiterating this idea.”

“The availability of quality, affordable reproductive services not only empowers women across the country; it has been accepted by a majority of Americans. During this week, as we celebrate what it means to be a healthy woman, I encourage you, the readers of Women’s Health, to educate and empower yourself on the facts of these cases that could dictate how a CEO could potentially interfere with your health. Access to contraception isn’t just a winner for women, it benefits men, our families, and our health care system overall.”


Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): The Need-to-Know On…..Genetically Engineered Salmon

“Unfortunately, the reason I’m reaching out to Women’s Health readers is a less-than-positive development in the world of salmon: genetically engineered salmon, or as we in Alaska call it, Frankenfish. Compared to healthy and delicious wild Alaska salmon, the genetically engineered salmon is a nightmare gone wrong.”

“With all of these changes and additions, I’m not even sure it’s accurate to call this “fish” a salmon. It’s more a science fair project on a plate.”

“But in the event the FDA grants the approval, I have pushed hard in the Senate for clear labeling requirements for any genetically engineered salmon sold for human consumption. I believe at the very least, the FDA must require labeling that allows consumers to identify this as a genetically engineered product.”


Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine): The Need-to-Know on…..Diabetes

“Diabetes is one of our most costly diseases in both human and economic terms. It costs our nation more than $245 billion annually – a staggering 41 percent increase from 2007 – and accounts for one out of three Medicare dollars.”

“There is, however, another type of diabetes that significantly affects the health of our nation’s women and children that people know relatively little about: gestational diabetes. This is crucial for the readers of Women’s Health to know. Up to 18 percent of all pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes, and the number is growing steadily. It’s associated with health problems for both mother and baby during pregnancy and childbirth, and almost half of women with gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. The disease also puts children at a higher risk for obesity and developing diabetes themselves.’

“We must continue to pursue an aggressive national strategy to find better treatments, a means of prevention, and ultimately a cure for this terrible disease. The readers of Women’s Health can help by urging their Senators and Representatives to support the Gestational Diabetes Act—and by making sure that if they get pregnant, they take charge of their health and get screened for the disease.”