Health Leaders to Congress: Vote Now to Save Mothers’ Lives
November 20, 2018

Coalition of national organizations urges floor votes on bills aimed at combating rise in maternal mortality, cites bipartisan support.

A group of 82 national health-related organizations urged congressional leaders today to pass pending legislation by the end of the year that will help reduce maternal mortality in the United States.

“Our nation faces a growing crisis in maternal health,” said the letter, spearheaded by the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Preeclampsia Foundation. “More women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States than in any other developed country, and the rate of maternal deaths continues to rise.”

The letter – delivered to the majority and minority leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as to the leaders of key congressional committees – asked them to “move swiftly” to bring to a floor vote two companion bills that will take an important step on the road to eradicating preventable maternal death, as well as improving maternal and infant health outcomes and reducing disparities.

The bills, H.R. 1318 and S. 1112 (the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act and the Maternal Health Accountability Act), will accelerate progress toward ensuring that every state has a highfunctioning process for identifying the causes of maternal deaths and working across communities to implement solutions, the letter said.

There is good reason to act now, the organizations said, because the bills are already well along their ways through Congress with bipartisan support. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee unanimously approved S. 1112. Both Republican and Democratic leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee expressed support during a September 2018 hearing on H.R. 1318 for passing the bill this year. 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20006 MAIN 202 775 0436 FAX 202 478 5120 WWW.AMCHP.ORG

“Congress is on the cusp of sending legislation to the President’s desk that will equip the United States with the tools it needs to tackle this problem and move the country forward in addressing the growing maternal mortality crisis,” the letter said.

Other signers represent public health, clinicians, patients, and families, among other partners and include the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus Campaign for Children, Johnson & Johnson, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, National Birth Equity Collaborative, and Trust for America’s Health.