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The 1995 American Woman Award
Nita M. Lowey


Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey represents New York in the United States House of Representatives. Now serving her seventh term, Lowey was first elected to the House in 1988.

Through her work on the Appropriations Committee, Lowey has emerged as one of the leading advocates of increased federal investments in biomedical research on diseases like cancer, diabetes, and alzheimer's at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Called a "champion of increased funding for breast cancer research" by the Washington Post, Lowey has helped double spending on breast cancer research since 1992 and has been repeatedly honored by the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Lowey was named Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) "Legislator of the Year" for her work to strengthen our nation's drunken driving laws. In 1995 Lowey wrote the nation's "Zero Tolerance" law, which makes it illegal for minors to drive with any alcohol in their system.

Lowey, a former Chair of both the Congressional Women's Caucus and the House Pro-Choice Caucus, was called "the most prominent abortion rights advocate in Congress," by The Washington Post. Besides winning passage of a bill to ensure that insurance companies cover prescription contraceptives for federal employees, she established the Congressional Advisory Panel to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Lowey has also been named to serve on the prestigious National Council for the Arts in recognition of her leadership in her defense of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Born in the Bronx, Lowey received a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College. She served as Assistant Secretary of State for the State of New York before being elected to Congress. She and her husband, Stephen Lowey, have been married for 40 years and have three grown children and six grandchildren.