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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler Introduce the Bipartisan Ending Maternal Mortality Act to Eliminate Preventable Pregnancy-Related Deaths in America

May 11, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — In time for Mother’s Day this Sunday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care have led 16 cosponsors in introducing H.R 5761 the Ending Maternal Mortality Act, to create an ambitious national plan to halve rates of maternal mortality and morbidity over the next decade, with the goal of eliminating preventable maternal deaths within 20 years.

“Maternal health outcomes reflect how we value women and mothers, but despite our country’s prosperity, the United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “This legislation would require our leading public health officials to build and execute a plan to reduce preventable maternal deaths by half in the next 10 years and eliminate them entirely within the next 20. We cannot stand idly by as hundreds of American mothers die each year in the nation with the most advanced medical care on earth. It is not only possible to save their lives; it is our moral imperative.”

“With Mother’s Day approaching, we want Congress to take action that would help make giving birth a safer experience for moms across this country. That’s why my colleague Rep. Krishnamoorthi and I are introducing the Ending Maternal Mortality Act,” said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). “I’ve heard far too many stories of women dying or experiencing traumatic health challenges in childbirth, and so many of the issues they’re confronting are preventable. Unfortunately, such stories have the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. heading in the wrong direction. Whether it’s this new legislative effort with Rep. Krishnamoorthi, or my Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that would help states understand the maternal health challenges in local communities, it’s time for Congress to act.”

“Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to celebrate the moms in our lives and I’m hopeful that as the number of mothers in Congress grows, this body will continue to commemorate the day with life-saving solutions for families everywhere.”

Between 700 and 900 American women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes each year, and more than 50,000 nearly die. The United States ranks 47th for maternal mortality rate globally, and is one of only eight countries in which the maternal mortality rate is rising. The CDC estimates 60% of maternal deaths are preventable, but not enough is being done to support women and mothers across the nation.

The Ending Maternal Mortality Act would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to design and implement a National Strategy to Combat Maternal Mortality with the goal of cutting the rate of preventable maternal deaths by half in the next decade. The public plan would address the need for improved data collection, increased understanding of maternal mortality, eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcomes, and best practices for hospital and health providers. The National Plan will be developed in conjunction with patient advocates, health care providers, hospitals and medical practitioners, and public health officials.

Cosponsors of the bill include Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) who also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care.

The text of the legislation is available here.