The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 12 bills to end maternal mortality and close racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes
NACPM is proud to endorse the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021,a historic legislative package whose introduction was announced 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. Please join NACPM in celebrating the introduction of this important legislation with the Black Maternal Health Caucus at a virtual introduction ceremony this evening at 6:00 pm ET by joining via this public livestream link.
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 will build on existing maternal health legislation, such as policies to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, with 12 bills to comprehensively address every dimension of America’s maternal health crisis. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act 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 birthing people and their 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 Native Americans, veterans, incarcerated people, and other birthing people of color.
“Rarely do we see legislation where the authors have clearly listened to the community, activists and researchers,” said Tanya Khemet Taiwo, CPM-ret, MPH, PHD, president of NACPM. “This bill goes beyond simplistic solutions that ignore the true origins of maternal mortality and the unconscionable burden borne by Black families and addresses the social determinants of health. Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and the members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus for the first time in history are addressing the system of care that has failed many BIPOC birthing people with a comprehensive approach that includes physicians, midwives, nurses, doulas, social workers, childcare providers, transportation workers, public health workers and others, and challenges us all to surround the pregnant and postpartum family with the respectful quality care they deserve and need.”
“NACPM is deeply grateful to Congresswomen Lauren Underwood and Alma Adams, Senator Cory Booker, and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus for their comprehensive approach to stemming the unconscionable pregnancy-related death rate in the U.S. among Black, Native American and other birthing people of color, and for seeking the solutions described by this legislation directly from communities most affected. We look forward to collaborating with these offices to ensure the passage of these critical reforms,” said Mary Lawlor, CPM, executive director of NACPM.
“As maternal mortality rates continue to drop around the world, they are rising in the U.S., leaving behind devastated families and children who will grow up never knowing their moms. This crisis demands urgent attention and serious action to save the lives of Black mothers and all women of color and birthing people across the county,” said Congresswoman Underwood, co-chair and co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “I’m leading the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act with Representative Alma Adams, Senator Cory Booker, and other Members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus because no mother should go through pregnancy, labor and delivery, or the postpartum period without the respectful care and comprehensive support they need and deserve. Together, we can – and must – take the bold actions that will be required to save our moms, end disparities, and achieve true maternal health justice.”
“As I’ve said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disproportionate rate of mortality and morbidity among Black women is a crisis within a crisis,” said Congresswoman Adams. “Tens of thousands of pregnant people have contracted COVID-19, the vast majority being Black and Brown mothers. As the pandemic rages on, access to quality maternal care has decreased as the barriers to receiving care have increased. That’s why, in the 117th Congress, I’m reintroducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and the Kira Johnson Act. I’ll continue to work with Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Cory Booker, and my Caucus co-Chair Representative Lauren Underwood to ensure all everyone has access to high quality maternity care, no matter where they live, how much they earn, or the color of their skin. The Momnibus provides a comprehensive set of policy solutions and a roadmap for addressing maternal health disparities. Black mamas can’t afford to wait.”
“As the rest of the world works to improve maternal health outcomes, skyrocketing maternal mortality rates here in the United States are precipitating a public health crisis — one that puts mothers of color especially at risk,” said Senator Booker. “We simply cannot continue to accept this alarming status quo. This is why I am proud introduce the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act with Representatives Underwood and Adams that will save moms’ lives and improve health outcomes for all birthing people.”
The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act is composed of 12 individual bills. The legislation will: Make critical investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition.
- Provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity.
- Comprehensively study the unique maternal health risks facing pregnant veterans and support VA maternity care coordination.
- Grow and diversify the perinatal workforce to ensure every birthing person in America receives maternity care and support from people they can trust
- Improve data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the United States and inform solutions to address it.
- Invest in programs to expand access to treatments and support for maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
- Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated people.
- Invest in digital tools like telehealth to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved areas.
- Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and continuity of health insurance coverage from pregnancy through labor and delivery and up to 1 year postpartum.
- Strengthen programs to improve maternal health during COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.
- Invest in community-based initiatives to reduce levels of and exposure to climate change-related risks for birthing people and babies.
- Promote maternal vaccinations to protect the health and safety of childbearing people and their babies.
Join NACPM this evening to celebrate and launch this critical historic legislation!