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Hadassah Applauds House Passage of GINA, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act

Urges Senate to Take Swift Action
Genever McBain

Urges Senate to Take Swift Action

(New York, NY -- April 25, 2007) -- Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, applauds the House of Representatives for today’s overwhelming passage of the “Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2007,” HR 493. In addition, Hadassah thanks Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for scheduling this first-time vote on this vital bill, and its sponsors Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), and its 165 co-sponsors.

In a statement today, Hadassah National President June Walker said:

“This legislation has been introduced into the last five Congresses, but despite its broad bi-partisan support, has not been able to pass both chambers in the same term because it was never scheduled for a vote in the House. With the House’s passage today, we strongly urge the Senate to consider this bill – which it passed unanimously in 2005 – as soon as possible. President Bush has indicated his support for this legislation and we look forward to him signing it into law.

“When he does so, the U.S. government will afford its citizens protection from discrimination based on genetic information by insurance carriers and employers. Since each one of us carries genetic mutations – which may or may not express themselves during our lifetimes as painful and debilitating conditions – this is good news for every American.

“Genetic research will also benefit greatly from the passage of this legislation into law. Medical advancement in this area is now hampered by a reluctance to participate in research for fear of health insurance and employment discrimination based on genetic information gleaned from clinical trials.”

For more than 10 years, Hadassah’s 300,000 members have led the charge for genetic anti-discrimination legislation. In 1997, physicians at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem participated in the study that discovered the BRCA I & II genes, mutations of which increase the propensity to develop breast cancer.


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