May 13, 2004
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - To lead the federal government’s effort to combat often-overlooked women’s health issues, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH) and 35 of their colleagues have introduced the “Women’s Health Office Act of 2004.” The bill would make permanent women’s health offices within five federal agencies - the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Giving statutory authority to the offices of women’s health would ensure that the federal government will give adequate attention to health issues specific to women. This bipartisan effort passed the House of Representatives in the 107th Congress but never made it to a vote in the Senate.

“Women face many specific and unique health issues that men don’t,” said Maloney. “The effort to make permanent offices for women’s health throughout the federal government gained serious momentum two years ago, and I’m hoping that this time, it rolls all the way to the President’s desk.”

Currently only two women’s health offices are federally authorized and protected by law: the Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) at the National Institutes of Health, and the Office for Women’s Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

On September 17, 2002, the House passed the first Women’s Health Office Act. The Senate did not consider this legislation before the end of the 107th Congress.