In House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearing, Underwood Advocates for the Passage of the Protecting Moms Who Served Act

March 18, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) advocated for the passage of her bipartisan legislation, the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, during a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health hearing. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act would help women veterans by comprehensively studying the unique maternal health risks facing pregnant and postpartum veterans and by supporting VA maternity care coordination programs. During the hearing, Underwood questioned Dr. Kameron Matthews, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)’s Assistant Undersecretary for Health, on the steps the VA has taken to provide support to veterans during and after pregnancy, including access to critical perinatal mental and behavioral health services. 

“I’m proud of the progress our Committee made to improve health care for women veterans last Congress, but we know there is significant work ahead of us, particularly on maternal mortality. That’s why I am proud to be the lead sponsor of the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, a bipartisan bill I introduced with Chair Brownley and Representatives Gus Bilirakis and Brian Fitzpatrick, which is supported by the American Legion, Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, and more than 100 other veterans and health organizations,” said Rep. Underwood.  

Video of Underwood’s hearing remarks can be found here.

The Protecting Moms Who Served Act is a part of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus that Underwood recently reintroduced in Congress with Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). The Momnibus builds on existing maternal health legislation and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus of 2020 with 12 bills to comprehensively address the drivers of the maternal health crisis. The Momnibus makes critical investments in addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, and improving in data collection processes. The Momnibus also includes new legislation to address the impacts of COVID-19 and climate change on maternal and infant health. The bipartisan Senate version of the Protecting Moms Who Served Act is led by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).