[Black Maternal Mortality Health Crisis]
Congressman McEachin: “I look forward to further supporting the work of advocates in Virginia and my colleagues in Congress towards reducing Black maternal mortality rates throughout the Commonwealth and across the country.”
Virginia Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) yesterday introduced a resolution recognizing the maternal mortality health crisis affecting women in Virginia and across the nation.
The resolution urging federal action to lower maternal mortality and morbidity rates and mitigate stark race-based disparities in maternal health outcomes is co-sponsored by Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10).
“As a father to two young women, Virginia’s Black maternal health crisis is personal – I am standing not just with the Black women across the state who are already committed to this important work, but with my children and future generations,” remarked lead sponsor Congressman McEachin.
Regardless of their social status, income, or education, Black women in Virginia are three times more likely to die during childbirth and suffer a post-partum mortality rate more than twice as high as white women. To draw attention to these disparities, Rep. McEachin joined Chesapeake resident and Sisters in Loss president Erica McAfee last week in highlighting her story ahead of the 2020 State of the Union address.
As a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus founded last year by Rep. Adams and Rep. Underwood, Rep. McEachin has backed several bills to help ensure women and their children get the best treatment possible including Rep. Kelly’s Helping Medicaid Offer Maternity Services Act of 2019 or the Helping MOMS Act that would incentivize states to expand Medicaid to cover the entire postpartum period to provide quality coverage for all women, and Rep. Pressley’s Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services, or the MOMMIES Act that would also give pregnant and postpartum women full Medicaid coverage rather than limit it to pregnancy-related services.
“The racial disparities in Virginia’s maternal health outcomes are yet another example of the reality that from birth, our communities are forced to grapple with systemic racism,” Congressman McEachin added. “I look forward to further supporting the work of advocates in Virginia and my colleagues in Congress towards reducing Black maternal mortality rates throughout the Commonwealth and across the country.”