President Bush has signed Johanna’s Law, landmark legislation that authorizes development of a national gynecologic cancer awareness campaign. The federal campaign would educate American women and health professionals about the signs and symptoms of ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.
The President signed the bill on Friday, January 12. Both houses of Congress unanimously approved Johanna’s Law: the Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act late last year.
Johanna’s Law authorizes $16.5 million over a three-year period to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the awareness and education campaign. It is named for Johanna Silver Gordon, who died from ovarian cancer in 2000.
“This achievement is the result of the tireless work and dedication of all of our Congressional champions, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, and a far-reaching alliance of grassroots activists whose lives have been touched by gynecologic cancers,” said Sherry Salway Black, executive director of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. “The ovarian cancer community in particular has played a critical role in the passage of Johanna’s Law through the Ovarian Cancer Action Network.”
“This is an exciting development in our efforts to save women’s lives through earlier detection of ovarian cancer,” said Johanna’s sister, Sheryl Silver, who conceived Johanna’s Law and has worked tirelessly for its passage. “By educating the public about the risk factors and symptoms of gynecologic cancers, Johanna’s Law will help women recognize potentially dangerous symptoms and seek appropriate medical attention sooner.”
OCAN and other advocates now have another hurdle to overcome. Because Johanna’s Law is an authorizing measure, it does not include any appropriations, so OCAN and other advocates will need to work to urge Congressional funding for the campaign.
Sherry Salway Black
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
910 17th St., NW, Suite1190
Washington, D.C. 20006