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McKinney Calls Attention to Women's Bleeding Disorders

April 23, 2002

Washington, DC-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has introduced HR 380, which would call attention to the critical needs of women with bleeding disorders. "Too many women suffer from bleeding disorders and I have at least one friend who has suffered from such a disorder. Anything I can do to bring attention to this unnoticed illness will help the many women in this country who are afflicted with bleeding disorders."

The majority of women who suffer from bleeding disorders have von Willebrand disease and usually go undiagnosed. Without effective medical treatment, this disease can lead to horrible consequences for the reproductive abilities of women. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis of von Willebrand disease in particular can be difficult given current testing techniques. Failure to diagnose von Willebrand disease may lead to unnecessary hysterectomies, problematic childbirth and surgery, and a lifetime of unnecessary suffering. "This legislation is the first step in what will be an ongoing initiative through my Congressional office to accurately diagnose women's bleeding disorders before they have to surrender the possibility for a family in the future."

HR 380 calls for appropriate screening for women and girls with excessive menstrual bleeding, as well as for an evaluation prior to the diagnosis of as hysterectomy to rule out the possibility of a bleeding disorder. This legislation calls for women with bleeding disorders to be refereed to a federally sponsored hemophilia treatment center for comprehensive treatment. In addition, it calls for the continuation of public education and outreach campaigns such as those conducted by the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control. Georgia State Representative Karla Drenner enthusiastically endorsed introduction of this legislation, " I congratulate Congresswoman McKinney for introducing this important legislation. I'm glad Congress will now work to deal head on with an issue that has been pushed into the shadows of women's health for so long."


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