The Uterine Fibroid Research and Education Act of Florida
goes into effect on July 1, 2022
The journey for a fibroid bill has taken over 20 years to become law. Senator Audrey Gibson speaks with Fibroid Ambassador Erica Taylor and our Founder Dr. Yan Katsnelson about her companion bill for Uterine Fibroid Research and Education, which was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and takes effect on July 1, 2022.
The Florida Department of Health will be required to create and manage an electronic database of information relating to uterine fibroids, and health care practitioners will be required to provide specific information to the department for inclusion in the database. The information provides a description of the symptoms of uterine fibroids as well as how frequently women should see their doctors to prevent fibroids and prevent the disease from worsening.
The bill is seen as a major victory in the fight to allow women to have information and choices regarding fibroid care. Senator Gibson was asked by house representative Anika Omphroy (D-95) to foster the bill through the house.
As the daughter of a healthcare professional, Senator Gibson was eager to focus her attention on fibroids and healthcare. Gibson is a fibroid survivor so she knows firsthand how they affect women’s health.
Gibson wanted to endorse the law right away, but he saw the need of checking facts and figures.
“The first thing I wanted to do was make sure I pulled the data since it aids in decision-making,” she says. The statistics showed that millions of women of childbearing age and beyond suffer from fibroids in Florida and around the country,” she added, “with surgery being often the only option. “We wanted to investigate something other than surgical treatment. As a result, I was delighted to sponsor the bill.”
Gibson’s achievement in getting the law passed is highlighted in the video conversation. “In part, it was a matter of reaching out to the committee chairs to make them recognize that this was a very pressing need in our communities, particularly for African American women,” she adds.
Senator Gibson, who represents the 6th district in downtown Jacksonville in Duval County, felt the timing was perfect because of federal funds. “The Speaker of the House felt we should focus on health inequalities as we proceeded forward with our legislative work. There wasn’t a reason not to pass legislation that addresses health disparities and investigates safer, less invasive treatment alternatives for women with fibroids.”
Gibson underwent fibroid surgery after suffering from anemia because of her fibroids. She recalled it was a painful surgery.
“The data is already there,” she says, referring to the number of women suffering with fibroids across the country.
“I applaud the work that Senator Gibson was able to make such a wonderful difference and create the framework of much needed legislation,” said Dr. Yan Katsnelson.
“USA Fibroid Centers wants work with health departments on a national scale to help more women learn more about fibroids and treatment. Together reach the goal of making sure that women and their doctors know about treatment options.
How can you get involved, spread awareness, and learn more?
Fibroid Fighters’ goal is to focus national awareness on uterine fibroids that often go undiagnosed due to lack of education and research. They can cause significant pelvic pain, iron deficiency, anemia, miscarriages, infertility, and heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroids are the most common cause of hysterectomies.
We hope the conversation continues.
We are asking the community to help us spread awareness about fibroid disease. Share the “Break the Silence, Break the Video Series.”
Tell your story.
Read about the efforts Fibroid Fighters is taking to support national legislation to improve fibroid education and promote research. Contact your legislator to support the bill.
The more we spread awareness, we can make fibroid research, education, and better treatment options a priority.
USA Fibroid Centers’ “Break the Silence, Break the Behavior” video series is about sharing awareness so women have better treatment options for fibroid treatment.