OCRA and the entire ovarian cancer community applaud the action taken on July 13, 2021 by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to reauthorize and expand Johanna’s Law. Since it was signed into law in 2007, Johanna’s Law has helped educate and raise awareness of gynecologic cancers to millions of people. Johanna’s Law supports a variety of programs, research projects and activities at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at educating healthcare providers and the general population alike. The law is named for Johanna Gordon Silver, a schoolteacher who was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer and died from the disease in 2000.
Congress has consistently funded Johanna’s Law through annual appropriations — and the effectiveness of the educational materials in raising awareness about ovarian and other gynecologic cancers has been proven time and again. While Johanna’s Law has touched millions of lives and remains unmatched in size, scale and scope, the persistent racial and geographic disparities across gynecologic cancers suggest that additional efforts are needed to target vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.
Gynecologic cancer awareness and education saves lives—but there is more to be done.
The bill introduced today seeks to reauthorize and enhance Johanna’s Law by increasing funding for another three years at $15 million. This amount represents a $5 million increase over the fiscal year 2021 funding level appropriated by Congress. This additional funding supports new provisions under the legislation, including initiatives to raise awareness among specific higher-risk populations of women. If this bill is passed, it will enable CDC to meet evolving public health needs when it comes to gynecologic cancers.