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Like millions of women across the country, I love Mother’s Day.  I appreciate all the love that comes my way on that special day. This year, I also found myself appreciating something even more basic – having survived childbirth.

While making a new documentary film, “No Woman, No Cry,” I learned that hundreds of thousands of women die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Surprisingly, the U.S. is one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Forty-nine countries around the world do a better job of preventing women from dying from pregnancy-related complications than the U.S. [1]

Approximately 90% of these deaths are preventable.[2] Despite these terrible maternal outcomes, there are no requirements that states track how many women are dying related to pregnancy and childbirth and why this is happening.

How is this possible in our nation?

Join in me in demanding an answer now by using this one-click tool to contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Maternal Health Accountability Act: http://action.momsrising.org/letter/StopMaternalMortality/

The Maternal Health Accountability Act (HR 894) would give states the resources they need to report and investigate all pregnancy-related deaths  as well as create a panel of medical experts to review the data and recommend strategies to reduce maternal deaths. This is a critical first step to preventing so many women from dying from pregnancy-related complications in our nation.  After all, without information about why women are dying, we cannot adequately respond.

We can't wait to act.  While maternal mortality has decreased by 30% worldwide, the rate of death from pregnancy or childbirth has nearly doubled in the U.S. since 1990.[3] Furthermore, data show that African American women in the U.S. are approximately four times as likely to die during childbirth as Caucasian women even when their health status is similar.[4]

And we all need to act now to get as many co-sponsors on this bill as possible: The more members of Congress sign on as co-sponsors, the better chance this important legislation has a chance to pass this year.

So please take one minute to contact your Members of Congress now – and urge them to sign on to support this common sense legislation on behalf of women and their families: http://action.momsrising.org/letter/StopMaternalMortality/

Together, let’s use our power to ensure that no woman needlessly dies in childbirth.

Thanks for your support of all mothers!

To find out more, please watch a short trailer of my documentary, "No Woman, No Cry": http://action.momsrising.org/go/902?akid=2720.1819415.OHjmsG&t=8
[1] World Health Organization, Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008

[2] UNFPA, Motherhood and Human Rights Fact Sheet

[3] World Health Organization, Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008

[4] Tucker MJ, et al.  American Journal of Public Health. 2007;97:247–251.


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