COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Women of all ages now have greater access to potentially life-saving care.
House Bill 371 was introduced as a bipartisan bill and gained enough support to become law on Friday, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say this can change lives.
“What we realized is that every day we were losing a mother, a friend, a sister, someone we knew in our community,” Representative Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) said. “And what we found out is through updates technology we could prevent that.”
“Early detection is the best chance of living a long and healthy life,” Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) said.
Under Ohio’s new law, introduced by Schmidt and Denson, any woman, regardless of age or risk factor, can get a yearly mammogram without having to jump through insurance hoops.
“Getting cancer is a million-dollar expenditure,” Schmidt said. “Getting an MRI is $300.”
According to the National Cancer Institute, female breast cancer represents 15% of new cancer cases in the United States.
This bill will also expand supplemental screening coverage for women with dense breast tissue, which can increase the risk of cancer.
“It’s so important that we have the most updated technology available to all Ohioans,” Denson said.
“If she has dense breast tissue, we know it is very difficult to find tumors in dense breasts. She now has the opportunity to talk to her doctor about getting an MRI, an ultrasound or any future technologies available,” Schmidt said. “This is life-altering for every woman in the state of Ohio.”
In the past, Representative Schmidt has made some controversial remarks about another women’s health issue: abortion.
Back in April, Schmidt said when women get pregnant from a rape, it is an opportunity for that victim, no matter how young or old. This was NBC4’s first interview with Schmidt since those remarks, and we tried to ask some off-topic questions about those comments. This is how she responded: “We’re not going there. This is about breast exams.”
NBC4’s Natalie Fahmy did give her office the opportunity to answer questions about those remarks after the interview, but they did not respond.