WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) today applauded President Bush’s call for meaningful tort reform in medical malpractice cases, noting that women will especially benefit.

“Frivolous lawsuits, defensive medicine, and exorbitant jury findings continue to drive up the cost of medicine, and continue to drive many doctors out of practice,” commented IWF President Nancy M. Pfotenhauer. Women are especially being harmed by this economic drag on medicine. Far too many small business owners find the cost of health insurance prohibitive, and women own the majority of new small businesses. More and more female heads of household can’t afford insurance at all. And skyrocketing malpractice insurance costs are driving many doctors out of obstetrics and gynecology, for example.

“When the President speaks of a woman having to live with family in another state because no ob-gyn could take her case in her hometown, he’s only illustrating an extreme case of a real life problem faced by women nationwide.

IWF has long called for meaningful tort reform that, among other things, would increase penalties for frivolous lawsuits, curb the use of “junk science” in courtroom testimony, and restrict overreaching actions by judges and juries.

The Independent Women’s Forum, founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.