Thinking about getting pregnant?
Know someone who is thinking of starting a family?
Think about this -
The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is approximately 20.7 deaths per 100,000 deliveries. It’s the highest of most developed countries. And studies show that most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable.
While you may think the beginning of this email is morbid, there is not nearly enough attention given to the disparities in maternal health rates, which is tragic. African-American women and other women of color are disproportionally impacted, which is unacceptable.
In America, African-American women are currently three to four times more likely, while Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian and Pacific Islander women are two times more likely than Caucasian women, to die from preventable, pregnancy-related complications. The factors that impact “determinants of health" range from socioeconomic status to systemic racism.
Last week, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on reducing and preventing maternal mortality rates. We heard from doctors, medical professionals, and even Olympians like Allyson Felix, with testimony that was stunning and compelling. You can watch the hearing here.
Policymakers at all levels—federal, state, and local—must work together on multi-faceted strategies to address this crisis. An important step in the right direction would be passage of the MOMMA Act
, which would expand Medicaid and CHIP coverage for postpartum care from 60 days to a year.
I’m committed to ensuring that this is the beginning of action to lower maternal mortality rates and improve health outcomes for women, as part of our greater mission in Congress to improve health access and quality for all Americans.
We must make sure the federal government is a stronger ally and partner to women. Improving their health care is essential to a safer, healthier, and more economically secure America.