DNC Chair Statement on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Washington, D.C. – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor, released the following statement today to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

“Today, I am proud to join millions of women who have been affected by breast cancer, and their families, in our vocal support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“As a survivor, I share my story to raise awareness in hopes of helping other young women. I was just forty-one, and only six weeks removed from getting back the clean results of my first mammogram, when I discovered the lump during a self-examination. Even when I initially consulted my doctor, I was advised that I was likely too young to have breast cancer and advised to wait and watch. Instead, after further discussions, we decided to proceed with the biopsy. Thankfully, I was able to detect it early, and today I am seven years healthy and cancer free.

“My own experience is a testament to the importance of education and awareness in combatting a disease against which knowledge is the best tool we have. Many young women in situations like mine are reflexively dismissed because young women are a minority of breast cancer patients. It was not until after I was diagnosed that I learned that because I’m an Ashkenazi Jew, I was five times more likely to have a gene mutation which makes my chances of getting breast cancer as high as 85 percent. Subsequent test results showed I carried the BRCA2 genetic mutation.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans now have access to free preventive care, including mammograms, and breast cancer survivors like me can no longer be discriminated against by insurance companies for having a pre-existing condition. Under President Obama and Democrats, millions of women have gained access to quality, affordable health care. We will continue to defend organizations like Planned Parenthood, who have been a vital resource for countless women in the fight against breast cancer by conducting breast examinations and providing referrals for access to mammograms.

“This October, celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month by making sure that your mother and daughters, sisters and friends, are armed with the information they need to win this fight.”


While Democrats fight on behalf of the American people to maintain quality, affordable health care for millions of women and breast cancer survivors across the country, Republicans running for President are offering the exact opposite, and promising to reinstate failed policies of the past.

Every single one of the Republicans running for presidents wants to take us back by repealing the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurance companies to cover breast cancer screenings. And each one of the Republican candidates have called for defunding Planned Parenthood, even though its affiliates performed 487,000 breast exams last year.

Jeb Bush

  • Vetoed $2 million for breast cancer research in Florida.
  • Questioned the value of women’s health.
  • Falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood wasn’t “actually doing women’s health issues.”
  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Donald Trump

  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Proposed shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.

Marco Rubio

  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Voted against a measure that would protect a woman’s access to primary and preventive care.
  • Would defund Planned Parenthood.

John Kasich

  • Proposed a budget to eliminate Medicaid coverage for breast cancer screenings, and exclude coverage for some low-income women.
  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Chris Christie

  • Proposed significant cuts to a New Jersey commission that administers the state breast cancer research fund.
  • Vetoed funding for cancer screenings, STI treatments, birth control, and pap tests.
  • Proposed an insurance program in New Jersey that would effectively eliminate mammogram coverage for many women.

Ben Carson

  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Would cut medical research funding at the National Institutes of health.

Ted Cruz

  • Led the fight to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act and pushed to do it again over defunding Planned Parenthood.
  • Voted against women’s access to health care, including primary and preventive care, family planning and birth control.

Carly Fiorina

  • Supported a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding.
  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Rand Paul

  • Would repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Questioned if the federal government should fund breast cancer research.
  • Proposed a budget that would make significant cuts to the National Institutes of Health.