WASHINGTON — The Hollywood writers strike shuttered production on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," but Marcia Cross hasn't been spending her downtime holed up inside.
The 45-year-old actress was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, lobbying Congress to pass the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2007 to end "drive-through" mastectomies for women forced to leave the hospital hours after surgery.
Cross is campaigning to give women the choice to recuperate for at least 48 hours following a mastectomy. She was joined by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Lifetime network executive Meredith Wagner.
Lifetime has collected more than 20 million signatures for the petition on its Web site, according to the network.
"It's such a simple bill that it's hard for me to understand why it's been languishing in Congress for 10 years," Cross said Wednesday. "When they told me about it, I just said, `What's the problem?'"
Cross has several friends who survived breast cancer, and said she can't imagine how someone can go home the same day after losing one or both breasts.
"I tried to imagine losing a foot and then (people) saying, `OK, now go home.' ... It's just really unfathomable," she said.
She said she thinks the bill will finally pass.
"I feel very optimistic that maybe that Congress has shifted a bit, that health care is more in the forefront, that maybe, you know, this is the moment," she said.
The Lifetime network is part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a joint venture of The Hearst Corp. and The Walt Disney Co.