[Black Maternal Mortality Crisis]
Rep. Pressley: “Our nation’s maternal mortality crisis has robbed us of Black mothers at nearly four times the rate of white mothers. The maternal mortality crisis is a racial justice issue and must be treated as the urgent epidemic that it is.”
Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) released the following statement on the House passage of H.R. 4996, the Helping MOMS Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing and ending America’s growing maternal mortality crisis.
The bill, which is sponsored by Congresswoman Pressley, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA), Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), contains key provisions of the Healthy MOMMIES Act, which Congresswoman Pressley introduced last year.
“Every mother and pregnant person deserves the peace of mind that comes with knowing they will receive the high-quality and culturally competent care they need and deserve before, during, and after the birth of their child. But for too long, our nation’s maternal mortality crisis has robbed us of Black mothers at nearly four times the rate of white mothers. The maternal mortality crisis is a racial justice issue and must be treated as the urgent epidemic that it is. Today’s House vote to pass the Helping MOMS Act is a critical step in our fight to end these stark racial disparities and injustices and affirm the health and safety of every mother and child.
“I’m proud that this bill contains a key tenet of the Healthy MOMMIES Act that I introduced with Senator Cory Booker, which will extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to one year post-partum, commonsense policy that will improve health outcomes and reduce mortality rates for mothers and babies. The passage of this bill is a testament to the steadfast dedication and leadership of my sisters, Congresswomen Robin Kelly, Lauren Underwood, and Alma Adams in the fight for maternal health justice, and I look forward to our continued partnership as we work to realize a world in which every parent and child can not only survive, but thrive.”
As a founding member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, Congresswoman Pressley is committed to ending the Black maternal mortality crisis in America and affirming maternal health justice for all. Last May, she introduced H.R. 2602, the Healthy MOMMIES Act, to extend post-partum Medicaid coverage for pregnant people and expand coverage to include culturally competent and community based doula care. In March, she introduced H.R. 6129, the Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act, legislation to improve maternal health care and support for pregnant individuals who are incarcerated.