Women’s and consumer groups held a rally yesterday outside of the Health and Human Services building in Washington, DC to try to prevent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for silicone breast implants. The implants were pulled from the market in 1992 after many women reported illnesses and pain from the implants, which often broke open, causing repeat surgery, pain, and disfigurement, according to the Associated Press. In addition, a recent series of studies, including one by the National Cancer Institute, have linked cosmetic breast implants with higher rates of suicide, the Washington Post reports.
The FDA will hold hearings next week to determine whether it should put silicone breast implants back on the market based on a clinical trial that began only three years ago, despite the fact that even their own researchers show that problems increase dramatically after seven to 10 years. “Another generation of women should not suffer because the FDA has bowed to pressure from manufacturers and plastic surgeons,” said Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, one of the organizers of the rally. “[HHS Secretary] Tommy Thompson must protect American women from silicone gel breast implants.”
The Feminist Majority Foundation joined NOW and other advocacy groups, including In the Know, Breast Cancer Action, Public Citizen, National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Silicone Implant Foundation, and other groups in urging the FDA to continue testing the implants to make sure they won’t harm women’s health.