National Partnership for Women & Families

House Committee Approval of Genetic Nondiscrimination Bill Is "Important Step Forward," Women's Leader Says

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — February 14, 2007 —
"For the last few years, the House of Representatives stood in the way of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, badly needed legislation that would establish federal standards to protect the privacy of genetic information and prohibit genetic discrimination in health insurance and the workplace. That is why today’s mark-up by the House Education and Labor Committee is such good news. It is an important step forward is allowing our nation to realize the full promise of emerging medical technologies.

Genetic testing holds promise to prevent health problems and help people cope more effectively with medical conditions that are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the same technologies that predict disease through genetic testing and family history can open the door to discrimination. Americans should not have to fear that their genetic information will be used to prevent them from getting the jobs or the insurance coverage they need.

We join dozens of groups representing patients, people with disabilities and consumers, as well as leading women’s health, civil rights and other organizations in urging House and Senate leaders to move quickly to pass this critical legislation, and President Bush to sign it into law. Nobody should have to choose between the benefits of genetic testing and keeping a job or health insurance."

Contact

Cindy Romero (202) 986-2600 cromero@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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