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Cindy Pearson

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Racist treatment of Black, Indigenous and other people of color inside the health care system won’t come to an end until the system itself changes.

Comments submitted to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee

Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is the appalling culmination of a rushed and illegitimate process that raised serious questions about her independence, transparency, and honesty while confirming her reactionary views on race, gender, health, science, and authoritarianism.  During her time on the bench, Barrett has proven herself to be an extremist out…

FDA Comments- Makena

By: Cindy Pearson

[FDA-2019-N-4203] To Whom It May Concern: The National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to improve the health of all women. We are supported by our members and by choice, we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns and needs…

The public pays for more than half of the FDA’s budget each year, which entitles us to have a say in the agency’s operations. Late last year, we gave your predecessor, Scott Gottlieb, a report card on his first year as Commissioner—he got mixed grades. Here’s what you could do to get all A’s on your report card.

Testimony Delivered at the Meeting of the FDA Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee

Legendary journalist Barbara Seaman co-founded the NWHN in 1975, in part due to her investigations into oral contraception’s serious health risks and doctors’ refusal to take women’s complaints seriously. Her work led to Congressional hearings and sparked the revolutionary idea that patients’ have the right to accurate, helpful information about their diagnosis, conditions, treatment options, and possible risks.

I originally intended to title this column: “Trump officials can’t disguise their anti-birth control lies by claiming to care about women’s right to know the truth about their health.” But, that’s way too long, and Al Franken’s book title is the perfect description of leading anti-family planning policymakers. Trust me, they’ve really been telling some whoppers!

“Now I’m awake to the world. I was asleep before. That’s how we let it happen.” – Offred, in the Handmaid’s Tale, published 1985, Hulu television series 2017

Even if we can repeat the success seen so far, and maintain the resistance’s momentum, the implications for health reform, health justice, and reproductive health remain bleak for the foreseeable future. We are all in a position of trying to prevent harmful measures from being implemented, rather than implementing policies and funding programs that actually help people.

About the Author

Cindy Pearson

Cynthia A. Pearson (Cindy) has served as the NWHN’s Executive Director for more than 20 years. Cindy is one of the nation’s most experienced and respected women’s health advocates. During her tenure, Cindy has led campaigns to protect women from risky drugs and devices; require the government to research conditions that affect women; ensure that women have access to full information about medical products and clinical trials; expand women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care services; and protect women against coercion and abuse.

Cindy protects the independence of the NWHN’s voice on women’s health issues by cultivating a thriving national membership that enables the NWHN to remain one of the few women’s health organizations that will not accept financial support from pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, insurance companies or the tobacco industry.

Cindy regularly testifies before Congress, the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration and is a frequent speaker at conferences. Cindy has appeared in print and on the air as a consumer expert on women’s health issues, including the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Nightline, Good Morning America, CNN, NPR, and the Melissa Harris-Perry show.

Cindy is a transplanted Californian, where she obtained her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego. She began her career at Womancare, a feminist clinic, and worked as an abortion rights organizer for Colorado NARAL. She continues to support independent abortion providers through her service as the President of the Board of Directors of Women’s Health Specialists in far northern California.