Historic Legislative Package to End Maternal Mortality and Close Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Outcomes
NOW is proud to endorse the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, a historic legislative package unveiled today by Representatives Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 will build on existing maternal health legislation, like policies to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, with 12 bills to comprehensively address every dimension of America’s maternal health crisis. It makes investments in social determinants of health, community-based organizations, the growth and diversification of the perinatal workforce, improvements in data collection, and support for moms and babies exposed to climate change-related risks. In addition to direct efforts to improve Black maternal health outcomes, the Momnibus focuses on high-risk populations, including veterans, incarcerated people, Native Americans, and other women and birthing people of color.
The United States has the highest pregnancy-related death rate in the developed world and the only rate that is rising. The maternal mortality rate is significantly higher among Black women, who are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications. Other birthing people of color, including Hispanic, Native American, and AAPI women, also suffer from disproportionate rates of adverse maternal health outcomes.
“Black and Brown mothers have been suffering at the hands of an inequitable American health care system for centuries, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made this painful fact clearer than ever,” said Christian F. Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women. “This is a crisis we cannot ignore a moment longer, and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act will begin the work of closing the maternal health care gap and getting all moms the medical care they need and deserve.”
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act is composed of 12 individual bills. The legislation will provide funding to community–based organizations working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity, invest in programs to support maternal mental health, and much more.