December 23, 2014

Congresswoman Lee Applauds “Step in the Right Direction” but Remains Disappointed by MSM Blood Donation Ban

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Lee released this statement on news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will recommend ending the lifetime blood donor deferral for MSM in favor of a one year deferral from last sexual contact:

“I am pleased to see the FDA take a step in the right direction by re-examining the outdated and discriminatory policy regarding blood donations from the MSM community.

Yet, I remain disappointed that their recommendation continues blood donation deferrals without scientific justification.

Blood and blood products are critical to the treatment of many medical conditions and blood supplies are chronically low.

Our policies towards blood donation should be based on science, not fear. Deferral policy should only be based on actual risk factors.

I have called and will continue to call for a blood donation policy based on science, data and technical capacity.”


Congresswoman Lee is a Vice Chair of the Equality Caucus, a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, and is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and former co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.