Capito’s bipartisan bill calls for expanded research, outreach on uterine fibroids

With July being Fibroid Awareness Month, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) last week unveiled a bipartisan bill that would expand research and raise awareness about uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous growths that impact an estimated 26 million women nationwide.

“Millions of women are affected by uterine fibroids, which often go undiagnosed and can have significant health consequences in both the short and long term,” said Sen. Capito. “Making investments in research and education efforts is a critical step in supporting individuals who suffer from this condition across our country.”

Sen. Capito on July 13 signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of 2023, S. 2303, alongside bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). The legislation is named after the late U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), who championed the issue.

“I’m proud to join with Senator Booker to both honor a champion of this issue and help prevent, diagnose, and treat uterine fibroids for future generations of women,” Sen. Capito said. 

If enacted, the bill would ramp up uterine fibroid research among people of color, who are more likely to develop the condition, though current research and available data do not provide adequate information on the prevalence and incidence of uterine fibroids in Asian, Hispanic, and black women, according to the text of the bill.

Specifically, S. 2303 would require the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand, intensify, and coordinate programs for conducting and supporting research related to uterine fibroids, the text says, and would authorize $30 million for each of fiscal years 2024 through 2028 for such efforts.

“Millions of Americans, especially black women, are living with uterine fibroids and suffering from its devastating health impacts,” Sen. Booker said. “We must continue raising awareness and investing in diagnostic and treatment options to alleviate the burden of uterine fibroids. We must empower women with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health.”

Under the legislation, HHS would be required to collect data on services provided to people diagnosed with uterine fibroids under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), create a public education program for uterine fibroids, and promote evidence-based care for uterine fibroids among healthcare providers, according to the bill’s text.

The measure has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.