Booker, Butler, Adams, Underwood Reintroduce Bicameral Black Maternal Health Week Resolution

Booker, Butler, Adams, Underwood Reintroduce Bicameral Black Maternal Health Week Resolution

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Laphonza Butler (D-CA) along with U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), introduced the bicameral resolution recognizing April 11 through April 17 as Black Maternal Health Week. This resolution serves to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the critical need to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates among Black mothers. 

 

The resolution underscores the disproportionate health complications suffered by Black birthing people during pregnancy who face a maternal mortality rate two to three times that of their white counterparts due to structural racism and gender oppression in maternal health care experiences. The ongoing rise in maternal mortality rates, especially among Black mothers, highlights the persistent disparity in health care access and outcomes. In order to reverse these alarming trends, the resolution calls on Congress to “support and encourage policies grounded in the human rights, reproductive justice, and birth justice frameworks that address Black maternal health inequity.” 

“The structural inequities and systemic biases driving alarming mortality rates among Black mothers demand immediate action,” said Senator Booker. “We must guarantee access to comprehensive care and support for both Black mothers and their babies, and prioritize policies that effectively address the disparities in care Black families face when bringing new life into this world. I am proud to have worked alongside my colleagues on this resolution to promote community-driven solutions, increase access to quality, affordable health care, and tackle the maternal health crisis head on.” 

I am proud to co-lead this resolution with Senator Booker to mark this week as Black Maternal Health Week,” said Senator Laphonza Butler. “We must acknowledge the major gaps in maternal care, especially when it comes to Black mothers and babies. I’m grateful for BMMA’s continued advocacy in protecting moms before, during, and after pregnancy.”

“During Black Maternal Health Week we recognize maternal health disparities and recommit to creating a world where maternal justice and equality are a reality,” said Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “We are working diligently to pass the full Momnibus Act package to comprehensively address existing gaps in policy solutions to the maternal health crisis. Since introducing the first resolution recognizing Black Maternal Health Week in 2018 with then-Senator Kamala Harris, and launching the Black Maternal Health Caucus with Rep. Underwood in 2019, we have made great strides to ending this crisis. I’m proud to introduce the Black Maternal Health Week Resolution alongside Congresswoman Lauren Underwood and Senators Cory Booker and Laphonza Butler. We must act urgently to address this crisis, because our mamas can’t wait.”

 

“It is unconscionable that in 2024, the United States remains one of the most dangerous countries on Earth to give birth,” said Representative Underwood, co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “Moms across our country are demanding a comprehensive solution to our maternal health crisis, and they cannot afford to wait. I’m thrilled to join my colleagues again in introducing this resolution officially designating this week as Black Maternal Health Week, and I’m thankful for the Black Mama’s Matter Alliance’s visionary leadership in establishing this moment of action and attention. We must continue to advocate for our moms and to pass the entire Momnibus now.” 

 

“Black Mamas Matter Alliance thanks Senators Cory Booker and Laphonza Butler and Representatives Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood for their leadership in introducing this year’s Black Maternal Health Week Resolution and for being dedicated advocates for the Momnibus Act. By centering Black-led and centered community-based organizations that understand the cultural nuances and challenges faced by Black women and birthing people, we can ensure that policies and programs are not only effective but also respectful of the dignity and autonomy that ALL Black Mamas deserve. BMMA fully supports the enactment of the Momnibus Act and the prioritization of community expertise and safety in maternal and perinatal health solutions,” said Angela D. Aina, DrPHc, MPH Co-Founder and Executive Director of Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Inc. (BMMA).

 

The resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-VT), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

 

The full text of supporting organizations can be found here.

 

To read the full text of the resolution, click here.

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