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CBS19: Resolution before U.S. House on rising maternal mortality rate

Washington, February 14, 2020

A resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives aims to increase efforts to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth.

Representatives A. Donald McEachin (D-VA 4th) and Abigail Spanberger (D-7th) introduced the resolution on Wednesday to recognize the maternal mortality crisis in the United States.

According to a release, this resolution aims to strengthen federal, state and local efforts to reduce deaths among new mothers and stresses the importance of reducing mortality and morbidity among all women.

It adds the escalating maternal mortality rates are uneven across racial divides. In Virginia specifically, black mothers are three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women.

This resolution would support expediting federal action to reduce maternal mortality rates through policies to raise public awareness, encouraging all levels of government to work together to improve maternal health outcomes, and promote initiatives to address inequalities in maternal health resources.

"No mother should worry about dying during childbirth in the 21st century, and rising maternal death rates in the United States should spark alarm for lawmakers and the general public. The current trend is disturbing, and the crisis demands action," said Spanberger. "To prevent the death of mothers across our country, we must expand research, implement researched best practices, and fiercely work to understand why African-American, Hispanic, and Native American mothers die at even higher rates than white mothers. Protecting the lives of women in childbirth and their postpartum months should be a common priority."

The release says the U.S. and Serbia are the only two developed countries that are currently seeing a rise in maternal mortality rates.

It also says, in the U.S., more women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than in any other industrialized country.

Other congressional members who co-sponsored this resolution include Alma Adams of North Carolina, Robin Kelly of Illinois, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Lauren Underwood of Illinois, and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia.
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