Pregnant Women Must Be Included in Medical Research

Calls to Action

Published 12/19/20

Pregnant people have historically been excluded from clinical research on the grounds of protecting women and their pregnancies from harm. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of why pregnant people need to be included in research. Pregnant people were not included in initial clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, despite being a high-risk population. 

SWHR President & CEO Kathryn G. Schubert published an op-ed in Scientific American calling for pregnant women to be protected through research, not from research. 

SWHR endorses the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC)’s 15 recommendations designed to address obstacles to the inclusion of pregnant women and breastfeeding women in research. The PRGLAC implementation plan identifies roles for stakeholders within the research and medical community, as well as for Congress, in the effort to overcome this harmful precedent of exclusion.

“With a health pandemic raging across the globe, a rising maternal mortality rate and wide disparities in health outcomes, women are working every day to protect themselves and their families. We have a plan endorsed by experts—and although it will take work, women’s health will greatly benefit from these efforts,” the op-ed states.  

Read The Article

Position Statement: Inclusion of Pregnant and Lactating Populations in Research

In line with our mission to ensure women’s participation in biomedical research, SWHR strongly supports appropriate inclusion of pregnant and lactating women in clinical research.


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