Association of state maternal and child health leaders says new CDC data analyses show need for policymakers, partners, and public to jointly dismantle racialized systems, practices, and policies.
Newly-released maternal mortality analyses from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirming that over 60 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable underscores why the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) has devoted significant resources as a partner in Building U.S. Capacity to Review and Prevent Maternal Deaths, advocated for legislation such as the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, and is an executive team member of the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health, among other activities focused on reducing maternal mortality and improving maternal health. We are proud of the work our members in state Title V Maternal and Child Health agencies do to support maternal mortality review committees, develop plans of action, and implement efforts to prevent future maternal deaths.
Most importantly, though, behind these numbers are women, their families, and their communities, who deserve better. The glaring racial inequity in maternal mortality must be at the center of all discussions related to how to reverse these statistics and save women’s lives. We must work together to actively dismantle racialized systems, care practices, and policies if we are going to make strides toward health equity. A focus on improving care quality and safety immediately surrounding childbirth is important but should not be the sole focus of intervention efforts.
AMCHP invites policymakers, partners, and the public to a joint commitment to lift the health of mothers in a way that prioritizes and respects the transformative experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. This challenge is too great for any one group or sector and will require the collective contribution of us all to create change.