September 14, 2021

SWHR Statement on the Build Back Better Act

September 14, 2021The Society for Women’s Health Research issued the following statement in response to the House’s Markup of the Build Back Better Act, a human infrastructure plan.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for its inclusion of provisions that will benefit women’s health in the Build Back Better Act. The attention paid to issues directly affecting—or disproportionately or differently affecting—women demonstrates the House’s appreciation for several critical areas of need and represents a positive step forward in our nation’s ability to improve scientific understanding and better meet women’s needs across the lifespan.

Among the legislation’s potential key contributions to women’s health are the additional investments in maternal morbidity and mortality, including investments in the maternal health workforce and funding for research and surveillance to improve maternal health outcomes.

SWHR was also pleased to see the $15 million investment in NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) for research on “interventions to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency on pregnant, lactating, and postpartum individuals, with a particular focus on individuals from racial and ethnic minority groups.” SWHR has long advocated for the appropriate inclusion of pregnant and breastfeeding populations to advance progress and equity in clinical research, and this provision in the House bill recognizes the value of including this vital population in research studies moving forward.

In addition to these provisions, SWHR was glad to see investments in public health and research funding that will benefit society as a whole. This includes the $3 billion in funding to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) and the targeted investments for pandemic preparedness, including updating public health laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infrastructure.

SWHR is grateful to the House for its emphasis on women’s health in the Build Back Better Act and stands ready to assist Congress to ensure that these provisions are included in final legislation.