Contact Your Representative to Advocate for Key Breast Cancer Legislation
I want an end to breast cancer. That is my ultimate goal. I want to know we can stop worrying that our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends may become one of the more than three million women living with breast cancer in the U.S. I know it won't happen this year. But this year we can at least get Congress to be more serious about this goal.
Right now, the National Breast Cancer Coalition is leading a push to get Congress to pass the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act (S.579/H.R.1157). BCERA, developed after many years of analysis by NBCC and one of our top legislative priorities, would fund a national strategy to look at and address the links between the environment and breast cancer. If the environment is causing breast cancer, we need to know. And then we need to figure out how to fix the problems.
BCERA is the result of several years of work by NBCC, analyzing, collaborating and researching the issue of the environment and breast cancer. As part of that process, we convened two summits in the 1990s. These brought together scientists, advocates, government officials, policy makers and other key stakeholders. We asked the group to look at priorities, approaches and funding levels. From this broad cross-section of participants came spirited discussion - and agreement.
NBCC then reached out to environmental scientists around the globe to discuss a strategic effort in breast cancer. We then took our ideas, informed by this collaborative effort, to members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, key staffers, and other policy and scientific governmental representatives. Through these efforts, we developed the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, first introduced in 1999 during the 106th Congress. We know that this bill encompasses the best approach to these issues and asks for the right amount of funding for research. Not too little and not too much. We have no interest in simply throwing money at the problem, we want to make certain we are pushing for the right strategy and the right funding. That is the hallmark of NBCC. NBCC grassroots advocates have been fighting for the passage of BCERA ever since.
A few months ago NBCC advocates from across the country, many of them breast cancer survivors, took to the Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff about BCERA. Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow joined us at a press conference and in key meetings with Congressional members of both parties to discuss BCERA. We have generated lots of attention and many promises. But not enough action. We need more than resolutions and promises from Congress to put an end to the breast cancer epidemic.
Nearly two-thirds of House and Senate members are cosponsoring BCERA, which means if we can push it through the process and get the bill to the floor for a vote, there is a very real hope that we can get BCERA passed before this year ends. We are so grateful for (and worked so hard to achieve) the incredible bipartisan support that has made this progress possible.
Join the National Breast Cancer Coalition's campaign and tell your Representative and your Senators to do whatever it takes to get this legislation passed now. Lives depend on it.
Tell them the 240,000 mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and other loved ones diagnosed with breast cancer each year matter to you.
Take the National Breast Cancer Coalition's awareness quiz: