Bill to Close Health Disparities, Honor Henrietta Lacks Becomes Law

January 6, 2021
In The News

A bill aimed at closing health disparities and honoring the medical contributions of Henrietta Lacks was signed into law. President Trump on Tuesday signed H.R. 1966, the “Henrietta Lacks Enhancing Cancer Research Act of 2019.” The measure requires the U.S. Government Accountability Office to complete a study on barriers to participation in federally funded cancer clinical trials by populations that have been traditionally underrepresented in such trials. The bill was sponsored by Maryland’s U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D), as well as Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.), who has sponsored the bill since the death of his predecessor Elijah E. Cummings, who originally championed the legislation. Co-sponsors include Maryland Congressmen C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D), John P. Sarbanes (D) and David J. Trone (D).