In 1993, the ABA Commission on Women successfully initiated its first program on breast cancer, informing ABA members about issues affecting women with breast cancer. Over 100 attorneys from around the country participated in this program, which featured a wide variety of speakers such as Gloria Steinem, U.S. Representative Nita Lowey and several notable public health experts.
Because of its stature within the ABA, the Commission was ideally positioned to lead and implement a new public education initiative designed to protect the legal rights of breast cancer patients. During the ABA 2000 Annual Meeting in New York, the Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Initiative kicked off with a day-long series of events. The program featured a host of distinguished experts on breast cancer treatments, public policies and related legal issues. Three Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars were provided for attorneys wishing to serve as legal advocates for breast cancer patients.
The project has evolved into one that draws on the expertise of many lawyers in a variety of disciplines. The ABA Health Law Section assumed responsibility for the project on January 1, 2008. Led by an executive committee with members from both Health Law and the Commission and supported by a Breast Cancer Task Force of over forty members, the Section is committed to continuing the excellent work of the Commission on Women in the Profession.