Statement on the Passing of Former Senator Arlen Specter

The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance sends our sympathies to the family of Arlen Specter, former senator of Pennsylvania and a long-time supporter of women with ovarian cancer.

From 1998 to 2003, Senator Specter and Senator Tom Harkin led a successful campaign to double funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). By doubling NIH’s budget, the agency was able to increase funding for cancer research. Today the National Cancer Institute funds approximately $100 million of ovarian cancer research each year.

Senator Specter also took a leading role in support of Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act. Johanna’s Law was introduced in 2003 and signed into law in 2007. The act funds gynecologic cancer awareness campaigns, including a recent series of public service announcements that feature survivors of ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers. Johanna’s Law received $5 million in federal funding in Fiscal Year 2012, thanks in part to the Alliance’s advocacy efforts.

The Alliance is grateful for Senator Specter’s longtime support of women with ovarian cancer and his efforts to secure federal funding for research and education. His championship of our cause has helped change the course of this disease for women throughout our country.