Biden to sign executive order aimed at advancing study of women's health

Biden to Enact Executive Order Focused on Enhancing Research in Women’s Health

On Monday, President Joe Biden plans to sign a groundbreaking executive order. This order is designed to push forward the study of women’s health. It aims to do this by improving how data is collected and making it easier to get funding for biomedical research.

Despite women being half of the population, their health issues have not received enough attention or funding. It was only in the 1990s that the federal government required women to be included in its medical research. Before that, studies mostly focused on men. This has led to a gap in understanding women’s health needs.

Biden’s executive order seeks to address these issues. His team has expressed that there’s still a lot we don’t understand about preventing, diagnosing, and treating various health conditions in women. Dr. Carolyn Mazure, who leads the White House initiative on women’s health, highlighted the need for more knowledge in this area.

Biden has always believed in the power of research to save lives and deliver quality healthcare. This executive order also plays a significant role politically, especially during an election year. Women are key to Biden’s reelection, and First Lady Jill Biden is at the forefront of mobilizing female voters and leading the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research.

This announcement is particularly timely, given the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned federal abortion rights. This has raised concerns about women’s medical issues, even for those not seeking to end their pregnancies. For instance, in Alabama, the future of IVF treatments is uncertain following a judge’s ruling.

Women played a crucial role in electing Biden in 2020, with 55% voting for him. Black women and suburban women, in particular, were strong supporters, while Trump had more support among white women, especially those without college degrees.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also starting a new project focused on menopause and its symptoms. This effort, as explained by White House adviser Jennifer Klein, aims to identify and fill research gaps.

Biden and the First Lady were expected to announce these initiatives during a Women’s History Month reception at the White House. The NIH, a major funder of biomedical research, plays a vital role in understanding how medications affect the human body and in determining proper dosages.

There are conditions that affect women differently or more frequently than men, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Conditions unique to women, like endometriosis and uterine cancers, are also in dire need of research. Dr. Mazure emphasized the importance of studying these issues.

Research disparities can have serious consequences. A study in 2020 found that women were often overmedicated and suffered more side effects from common medications, mainly because dosage trials predominantly involved men.

Last month, the First Lady announced a significant $100 million funding boost for women’s health research, marking a significant step forward in addressing these disparities.

This report includes contributions from Associated Press writer Gary Fields.