Making Women's History

This Women's History Month, we celebrate a landmark in the history of women in the Senate.  In 2007 -- the 110th Congress -- we have a record 16 women serving in the United States Senate.  When I first came to the Senate in 1986, I was the first woman elected in her own right and only the 16th to have ever served.  Now we have 16 all together, all at the same time.  We are making history.

Today, doctors, scientists and the American public know that women and men have different bodies and different health care needs.  Despite these differences, men's health needs have set the standard for our health care research agenda.  That's why I joined Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to introduce the Women's Health Office Act to make women's health offices in major federal agencies permanent.

Women's health offices make sure women are included in clinical drug trials, reach out to low-income and minority women to make sure they are getting vaccines and cancer screenings, and work with health care providers to put research on women's health into practice.  This legislation keeps us moving forward on women's health and provides women's health offices a clear, consistent framework to make sure that men and women get equal benefit from federal investments in medical research and health care services.

I am proud to fight with Senator Snowe once again for legislation that will improve health care for all women.  As colleagues in the U.S. House, we set out 20 years ago to create an Office of Research on Women's Health at NIH.  We finally succeeded, and the office was established in 1990.  And here we are today, still working together across party lines to make sure women are not left behind when it comes to their health.  This Women's History Month, I vow to continue the fight.