2015-07-22 / Political Page

Maloney’s Breast Cancer Awareness Bill Passes

BY JOHN TOSCANO


The House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research through the creation of a commemorative coin on July 15. (L. to r.); Breast Cancer Research Foundation President Myra Biblowit, Maloney, and Congressman Pete Sessions. The House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research through the creation of a commemorative coin on July 15. (L. to r.); Breast Cancer Research Foundation President Myra Biblowit, Maloney, and Congressman Pete Sessions. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s bill to raise breast cancer awareness and millions of dollars for research through the creation of a commemorative coin passed the House of Representatives last week.

However, the original bill was amended to remove distribution of funds to another anti-cancer group, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and provide all funds raised to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Maloney (D–Queens//Manhattan) said afterward that she was “pleased” her legislation passed, but was “disappointed that anti-choice politics were inserted into a debate about cancer research.”

Maloney explained, “About one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, but the chance of dying from the disease is about one in 36. That is a direct result of the investments we make into research on detection methods and treatments. The National Institutes of Health dedicated $674 million for breast cancer research in Fiscal Year 2014. And private organizations like Susan G. Komen and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation have made enormous contributions by funding research and by inspiring the public to take action to find a cure.”

In further explaining her disappointment that anti-choice politics were inserted into a debate about cancer research, Maloney explained:

“Many women, most of whom are low income, lack access to primary care, including breast cancer screenings. They rely on services through organizations like Planned Parenthood to receive this life saving medical care. To help provide that care, some Komen affiliates have provided grants to Planned Parenthood. None of those funds are used for abortion, and regardless of one’s stance on the right to choose, it is a fact that these grants have saved countless lives. Furthermore, only private funds would be raised under this bill and all of those funds are required to be spent exclusively on research.”

Maloney added: “I believe that the only thing that stands between millions of families affected by breast cancer and a cure is research, and money buys research. The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act will help in the fight against breast cancer, and I am hopeful the Senate will approve the legislation.”

The lawmaker explained that under her legislation, the United States Treasury would be directed to issue up to 50,000 $5 pink gold coins, up to 400,000 $1 silver coins and 750,000 half-dollars clad with a design to symbolize the fight against breast cancer in 2018.

The production cost of these coins Maloney said, will be “fully covered within the sales price, and the proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” headquartered in New York.

Maloney pointed out that breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among every racial and ethnic group. Clinical advances resulting from research have led to increased survival rates, and death rates have dropped over 34 percent since 1990.

The law maker said the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $500 million for research, making it one of the largest supporters of privately funded research across 25 states and 14 countries. BCRF is dedicated to keeping administrative costs low. Of every dollar donated to BCRF, $0.91 goes to research and awareness programs – $0.88 toward research and $0.03 toward awareness.

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