NHGRI logo

Oral History Collection

Louise Slaughter

Louise Slaughter was an American politician who served as a United States Representative for the 25th Congressional District of New York from 1987 until her death in March 2018. She had a degree in microbiology and a master's degree in public health from the University of Kentucky. She served as Chairwoman of the House Rules Committee from 2007 until 2011 and as ranking minority member of the Committee from 2005 to 2007, and from 2011 until her death. Slaughter was the lead House sponsor of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which became law in 2008. In this captivating oral history, Louise Slaughter discusses the struggles in setting up the Office of Women's Health in the 1990's that put money aside for research on ovarian cancer, cervical cancer and many diseases that affected women. The success of this led her to be the head of the GINA bill. Slaughter then discusses the difficulties passing a bill about genetics to members of Congress who were either not interested or did not understand what this new science was. Slaughter also gives personal accounts working with Francis Collins, Craig Venter, Kathy Hudson and Eric Green.