<B>VOICES:</B> Jewel Fights 'Drive-Thru Mastectomies'

ByABC News
September 16, 2006, 8:04 PM

Sept. 17, 2006 &#151; -- Jewel burst on the music scene 10 years ago with her debut album, "Pieces of You." Now, she's lending her voice and traveling to Washington next week to support a bill that would allow women to stay in a hospital up to 48 hours after undergoing a mastectomy.

Jewel: I think this is something many of us haven't thought about -- should the horror happen of getting breast cancer, and the trauma of having to deal with that, and then, also, of being asked to leave the hospital immediately after a mastectomy when you may not be ready.

Jewel [public service announcement]: "Did you know that after getting a mastectomy, too often women are forced out of the hospital before they have a chance to recover, sometimes just hours after the surgery. They're called drive-thru mastectomies, and the first time I heard that I wanted to scream."

Jewel: You know, insurance companies and HMOs have decided that it's an outpatient procedure and women must be out of the hospital within the same day. And many women go home and actually get infections when they could still use some doctor's care. So this bill, basically, is asking, you know, Congress and bill-makers to try and pass a law that says we can, you know, let a woman and her doctor decide how long she needs to be in the hospital.

This certainly isn't a merely feminist issue. This is about the care of our loved ones. And I'm pretty certain that everybody, no matter what health issue it is, you don't want to have to leave the hospital or be forced to leave it before you've healed or had time to heal.