Black Maternal Health Momnibus addresses maternal health inequality among African-American women.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births (the pregnancy-related mortality ratio or PRMR) for black and AI/AN women older than 30 was four to five times as high as it was for white women.
On Tuesday, March 10, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Senator Kamala Harris, and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus; a comprehensive and progressive approach towards addressing health inequality. The Momnibus is comprised of nine pieces of legislation that includes the following:
- 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 for Black women.
- Comprehensively study the unique maternal health risks facing women veterans and invest in VA maternity care coordination.
- Grow and diversify the perinatal workforce to ensure that every mom in America receives maternity care and support from people she 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 maternal mental health care and substance use disorder treatments.
- Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated women.
- 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
Disorders that can lead to complications during pregnancy are often undetected or if detected not taken seriously. According to research conducted by The CDC, cardiomyopathy, thrombotic pulmonary embolism, and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy contributed more to pregnancy-related deaths among black women than among white women.
The Momnibus legislative package is a huge and necessary step in the fight against racism and discrimination in healthcare. Hopefully, it is picked up in the Senate and becomes law.
Congratulations to Rep. Lauren Underwood on making great strides in her early career as a congresswoman. To track the Momnibus legislation’s progress visit Congress.gov.