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Congressman Mike Quigley

Representing the 5th District of Illinois

Quigley Statement on FDA Request for Comment Period on Blood Donor Deferral Policy

Jul 26, 2016
Press Release

CHICAGO – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, released the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement that a public docket will be established to request comments on potential changes to the current blood donor deferral policy.

“I am encouraged by today’s announcement that the FDA will look into policy solutions in order to move away from the discriminatory time-based deferrals and move closer to individual risk assessment as it relates to blood donor safety screenings. The tragedy at Pulse nightclub in Orlando highlighted the discrimination gay and bisexual men face when attempting to donate blood to those in need. And while this potential policy change could have a positive impact on men who have sex with men (MSM) and other marginalized donors, it would also make our blood supply safer. Moving towards an individual risk assessment would provide for a fair, equitable, nondiscriminatory blood donation policy, one based in science that allows all healthy Americans to safely donate blood. I urge the FDA to move in this direction.”

In June, Rep. Quigley led a letter with 115 House colleagues calling on the FDA to reexamine the time-based based donor deferral policy for gay and bisexual men. Read the FDA’s full statement here.