Home Economy News Biden expands women’s health research, adds $200 million for sexual, reproductive issues

Biden expands women’s health research, adds $200 million for sexual, reproductive issues


Biden expands women’s health research, adds $200 million for sexual, reproductive issues By Reuters

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Published Mar 18, 2024 05:03AM ET
Updated Mar 18, 2024 01:16PM ET

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a St. Patrick’s Day Brunch event inside the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

By Trevor Hunnicutt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden signed a new executive order on Monday that expands U.S. government research on women’s health, while pledging $200 million next year to better understand issues, including sexual and reproductive conditions.

Biden is also ordering his administration to report on progress they are making to erase gender gaps in research and to study how to use artificial intelligence to improve women’s health research, according to a White House summary of the order.

“I’m going to make sure women’s health is prioritized across the government,” Biden told a room full of women, including actress Halle Berry and former California First Lady Maria Shriver at the White House.

The National Institutes of Health is also launching a new effort around menopause and the treatment of menopausal symptoms that will identify research gaps and work to close them, aides say.

Women globally live 5 years longer than men on average but spend 25% more of their lives in poor health, according to the World Economic Forum and the McKinsey Health Institute. They remain underrepresented in clinical trials and conditions affecting women are researched less than those that impact men.

The executive order will require medical research to better track differences between women and men, aides say.

“Medications, treatments and medical school textbooks are based on men and their bodies but that ends today. Finally, women will get the health care they deserve,” First Lady Jill Biden told the crowd.

Biden has asked Congress for $12 billion in new funding for women’s health research, but new financial commitments are hard to pass in a politically divided legislature during an election year.

The administration will spend the $200 million investment announced on Monday during the 2025 fiscal year, which starts this October, if Congress grants the funding levels Biden has requested.

The Democrat is seeking another four-year term in November’s election against Republican candidate former President Donald Trump.

Women make up more than half of the electorate and Democrats think attacks on women’s healthcare could animate voters in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade abortion rights in 2022.

“At this moment in states across our nation we are witnessing a full on attack against hard fought hard won freedoms and rights, including the right of women to make decisions about their own body,” Vice President Kamala Harris said.

Biden expands women’s health research, adds $200 million for sexual, reproductive issues

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