Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act Continues to Advance in House; Co-Chairs Underwood and Adams Applaud Energy and Commerce Committee for Considering Maternal Health Legislation
WASHINGTON—Today, Black Maternal Health Caucus co-chairs Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Alma Adams (NC-12) applauded the Energy and Commerce Committee for considering two bills included in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (H.R. 959) in the Subcommittee on Health. The Social Determinants for Moms Act (H.R. 943) led by Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) would make key investments to address social determinants of health that impact maternal health outcomes, including housing, nutrition, and transportation. The Data to Save Moms Act (H.R. 925) led by Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03) would make critical improvements to maternal health data collection and reporting processes to ensure we have a complete understanding of the causes of maternal mortality. Recently, the Subcommittee on Health considered the Maternal Vaccination Act (H.R. 951), which is also included in the Momnibus, led by Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07).
“As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s critical that we work to advance the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to protect the health of pregnant people and new moms. There is no time to wait. I’m pleased to see parts of our historic legislation led by Congresswoman McBath and Congresswoman Davids continue to advance in the House,” said Rep. Underwood, co-chair and co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “I’m thankful for the leadership of Chairman Pallone and Chairwoman Eshoo for prioritizing this important legislation to save moms’ lives, end racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, and advance true birth equity and justice for all. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get these bills and other key priorities from the Momnibus passed and signed into law.”
“Our historic package of bills, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus of 2021, continues to move forward in the House of Representatives,” said Adams, co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “I am proud of the many members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus who are working as a team to make sure every bill in the package succeeds. All of us know how urgent the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis is, and we won’t stop until the United States is the safest and most supportive place to become a parent.”
"As the first woman and mother to chair the Health Subcommittee, it’s critically important that we continue our work to address the shameful fact that the U.S. is the most dangerous place in the developed world to deliver a baby, especially for Black women. I’m proud to have advanced the Data to Save Moms Act and the Social Determinants for Moms Act at today's Health Subcommittee hearing. These two bills are part of the Black Maternal Momnibus and make common-sense improvements such as local agencies and community-based organizations collecting and analyzing maternal health data to address disparities that are drastically harming mothers in the U.S.,” said Chairwoman Anna G. Eshoo, Chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.
“For years, I struggled to get pregnant. Like many women, I suffered complications before I finally had my son, Jordan. I was blessed with access to quality, affordable maternal health care, but for too many women in America, the miracle of pregnancy ends in tragedy,” said Rep. Lucy McBath. “Women in every community are affected by America's maternal health crisis. This is unacceptable, and I am proud we are taking another step to keep our mothers and our families healthy and safe.”
“We are facing a crisis of maternal health in this country, particularly for Black and Indigenous mothers. I introduced the Data to Save Moms Act to not only improve data collection practices, but to ensure we are truly listening to their stories, because effective, compassionate policy is built on reliable data,” said Rep. Sharice Davids. “We can and we must address the shameful rate of maternal mortality in our country—but to do so, we first must understand its causes. I am glad to see my legislation receive further consideration in the House and will continue to support the Momnibus along with the leadership of Rep Underwood and Rep. Adams.”
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, was reintroduced in February 2021 by Underwood, Adams, and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). The Momnibus builds on existing maternal health legislation with 12 bills to comprehensively address the clinical and non-clinical drivers of the maternal health crisis in the United States. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving data collection processes. The Momnibus also includes new legislation to address the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on maternal and infant health outcomes.