Congress recently doubled the funding of endometriosis research and it’s all thanks to Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa). She gave a speech on the House floor detailing her experience with the condition, where uterine tissue grows outside the uterus, during Endometriosis Awareness Month this past March.
She then went on to launch a House Endometriosis Caucus with Rep. Jennifer Gonzales-Colon (R-Puerto Rico), which is made up of 28 members. In her speech, she said “It’s time that people across the country know about what this is. Every day, women are pushing through their pain and living their lives.” Finkenauer was diagnosed early, at the age of 18, but it usually takes 7.5 years for women to receive an accurate diagnosis.
About one in 10 million women worldwide have endometriosis, with 7 million women in the U.S. living with the condition. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, it is the number one reason why women in their 30s get hysterectomies.
On July 30, Congress passed the amendment doubling funding for endometriosis research from $13 million or 82 cents a person in 2019, to $26 million this year. While Finkenauer calls the move a step in the right direction, she went on to tell Refinery 29, “..at the end of the day we need a lot more funding to make up for all these years of women suffering.” She added, “We’ve known about this condition since the 1920s and yet it’s still remained one of the lowest funded areas.”
Read more about Rep. Finkenauer in her own words in her interview with The Lily.
The Realist Woman’s take:
This story is a perfect example of why we need women in Congress. Finkenauer is the second-youngest Congresswoman in history and it’s important because young women need to see themselves reflected in our legislative system.
Representative Finkenauer can relate to the millions of women suffering from this condition and went on to do something about this problem. When women are voted into Congress, women’s needs are prioritized. Period.