Enactment of the Protecting Moms Who Served Act Will Help Make Childbirth in America Safer. Next, Congress Must Pass All Provisions in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.
“Maternal health is a public health emergency in our nation, and the Protecting Moms Who Served Act will help provide veterans with the world-class maternal health care they deserve. There are more than half a million women veterans in our country who are under age 40, and this bill is essential for them. We thank Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Illinois) and U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) for working so hard to enact this law, which is an essential step in addressing America’s maternal health crisis.
"But it is the first step.The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 contains 12 bills that would address our country’s maternal health crisis by addressing social determinants of health, funding community-based organizations, growing and diversifying the perinatal workforce, improving data collection and maternal mental health care, and investing in digital tools to improve maternal health. Key provisions of the Momnibus are included in the Build Back Better Act recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and awaiting consideration by the U.S. Senate. The Senate must pass this essential bill this month, to improve the health of moms and babies, to help get inflation under control, and to boost families, businesses and our economy.”
-Statement of Tina Sherman, Senior Campaign Director for Maternal Justice, MomsRising
“Today our country finally took a badly needed step to improve maternal and infant health, reduce maternal mortality, and improve the health of veterans. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act will make our country stronger and healthier by codifying and strengthening the Department of Veterans Affairs maternity care programs and supporting a badly needed comprehensive study to examine the unique maternal health risks facing pregnant and postpartum veterans, with an emphasis on racial and ethnic disparities. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act is part of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which has eleven other provisions that also are urgent priorities.
“The United States has the highest rate of maternal deaths during labor and delivery of any nation in the developed world, and we are the only industrialized country to experience an increase in maternal mortality over the last two decades. Black women’s maternal mortality rate is three to four times that of white women, Indigenous women’s mortality during labor and delivery also is unacceptably high, and veterans are at particular risk. This new law will help end the health disparities that veterans experience and ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs provides high-quality maternal health care to moms who have served and sacrificed. It will make childbirth in America safer -- but it is only one part of what lawmakers need to do.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising