U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Baldwin Leads 22 Colleagues in Calling on FDA to End Discriminatory Blood Donation Policy


By - Mar 23rd, 2023 09:06 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) led a group of her 22 colleagues in sending a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf expressing support for the agency’s recent proposal to end discriminatory blood donor deferral policies for men who have sex with men (MSM) and instead follow science to assess blood donor eligibility using an individual risk-based assessment. The FDA’s proposed blood donor deferral policy eliminates time-based deferrals that had previously existed for MSM, marking an important shift to ensure that blood donation policy is not rooted in not outdated stigmas, but rather science.

“The recent FDA proposal to end its discriminatory and medically unnecessary ban is a huge step forward in our fight towards LGBTQ+ equality and will ensure that those who need critical access to blood can get it,” said Senator Baldwin. “I sent a letter to Commissioner Califf encouraging the FDA to continue building on the progress we’ve made by following the science when it comes to blood donation policies instead of outdated stigmas and help build our nationwide blood supply.”

In addition to Senator Baldwin, the letter was co-signed by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Senator Baldwin has long advocated to end this discriminatory blood ban. In 2022, when the Red Cross declared its first-ever national blood supply shortage, Senator Baldwin led colleagues in urging the Biden administration to act on the most up-to-date science and increase the eligible blood donor base to help curb the crisis. In 2020, Senator Baldwin led a letter to the FDA expressing concerns with the agency’s discriminatory blood donor policy amid a nationwide shortage of donated blood resulting in the FDA shortening the deferral period for MSM from 12 months down to three months.

In 2016, Senator Baldwin led a bipartisan group of Senators in calling on the FDA to swiftly move to end the discriminatory blood donation deferral policy for MSM. In 2014, she led over 75 members of Congress in calling on the FDA to end the outdated ban and replace it by instituting a risk-based policy.

Full text of the letter is available here.

An online version of this release is available here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin Delivers $8.6 Million to Clean Up Contaminated Properties Across Wisconsin, Spur Economic Revitalization

Funding for five Wisconsin communities comes from Baldwin-backed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Baldwin Calls on Biden Administration to Expand Free IRS Direct File Program

IRS Direct File pilot program saved taxpayers nearly $100 million in refunds and tax preparation fees

Baldwin Pushes Railroads to Address Staffing Shortages that Compromise Safety and Service for Americans

Major railroads cut nearly 30% of employees over ten-year period

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us