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Luria urges federal action to combat rising maternal mortality rates

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria is backing H. Res. 853, a resolution recognizing the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing mortality and morbidity among all women, and honoring mothers.

In America, maternal mortality and pregnancy-related deaths have increased by 139 percent since 1987. Maternal health outcomes are marked by inequalities across racial lines. According to data from the Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, African American women are three to four times more likely to die while giving birth than their white counterparts. Women of color also have poorer access to high-quality reproductive health information and services, and experience higher rates of discrimination, disrespect, and abuse. These inequalities exist regardless of income, access to health care, and education level.

“It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, women across America are suffering from rising maternal mortality rates,” said Luria. “This is an appalling trend that requires a robust national response. I am supporting this resolution to send a message that we must raise awareness of this ongoing public health crisis and work together to reduce disparities in maternal care.”

Res. 853 was introduced by fellow Virginian, Congressman Donald McEachin. The resolution highlights the troubling trend of rising maternal mortality rates and calls for expedited federal action and initiatives to fight it. These include promoting awareness of this crisis, exploring actions to address and eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes and care practices, and supporting better data collection on maternal mortality and morbidity.

This resolution also recognizes the need to bolster investments in efforts that improve maternal health, reduce disparities, and promote equitable maternity care. Finally, H. Res. 853 honors mothers who have passed away as a result of pregnancy-related causes.

Luria is a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. This group aims to raise awareness of maternal health issues and advance effective, evidence-based practices to improve health outcomes for black mothers.

In March, Luria joined her colleagues from the Caucus in introducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020, a historic legislative package to address this public health crisis.