On Tuesday the first congressional caucus on black maternal health launched on Capitol Hill. Led by Democrat congresswomen Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) and freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Il.) the caucus’s mission is to ensure black women are not dying senselessly during or after childbirth
As has been noted here many times before black women experience maternal mortality rates four times higher than white mothers no matter black women’s socioeconomic status or even the level of education achieved. In general, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. Black women fare the worst.
The Black Maternal Mortality Caucus was launched with over 50 founding members including Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn according to ABC News. In addition to raising awareness about black maternal mortality, the Caucus is also poised to pass legislation to save more mothers’ lives.
As a country that is losing too many women to pregnancy and childbirth-related death, this caucus is a step in the right direction and proof that those who have been working tirelessly on this issue have finally been heard on a federal level. This is especially prescient because by not working on this national issue, the maternal mortality rate for black women is sure to rise.
Black Maternal Health Week
The second annual Black Maternal Health Week runs from April 11- 17. Visit blackmamasmatter.org/bmhw for ways to learn more and engage with supporters of saving black moms and their babies.
Art by Uzuri Art.