NAACP URGES SWIFT PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION TO PREVENT MATERNAL AND INFANT DEATHS A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF MOTHERS AND CHILDREN WHO LOSE THEIR LIVES DUE TO CHILDBIRTH ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN; A MAJORITY OF DEATHS ARE PREVENTABLE.
All sorts of health care disparities exist in America today, none is perhaps as glaring as “maternal mortality” (the death of a mother or child as a result of the pregnancy or childbirth). Nationally, African American mothers are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy and birth-related complications than their white counterparts. On average, maternal mortality claims the lives of approximately 700 American mothers each year, and this number is on the rise: over the last two decades, the rate of maternal mortality in America has doubled. Most shockingly, a recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that 60 percent of these deaths are entirely preventable.
To combat the maternal mortality trend which is especially dire in the African American community, Senator Richard Durbin (IL) and Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL) (chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust) have introduced H.R. 1897 / S. 916, the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness (MOMMAs) Act. This important legislation uses a proven multi-pronged approach to address and reduce maternal deaths which includes expanding Medicaid coverage, from the current level of 60 days to 1 year to cover a new mom’s entire post-partum period; standardize data collection and analysis so we can better understand and address the root causes of elevated levels of maternal morbidity rates, particularly for the African American community; and improve access to culturally competent care throughout the care continuum.
THE ACTION WE NEED YOU TO TAKE:
Sen. Bob Menendez
Telephone No.: (202) 224-4744 or Fax: (202) 228-2197
Sen. Cory Booker
Telephone No.: (202) 224-3224 or Fax: (202) 224-8378.
Congressman Donald Payne-10th Congressional District of NJ
Telephone: (202) 225-3436 or Fax: (202) 225-4160
Urge them to support HR 1897/ S 916.