WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday helped introduce a resolution recognizing the ongoing maternal mortality crisis in the United States. The resolution also stresses the importance of reducing mortality and morbidity among all women.
Across the country, 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. These statistics are true regardless of social status, income level, or education level attained.
The Spanberger-cosponsored resolution supports expediting federal action toward reducing rates of maternal mortality—including through policies that raise public awareness, encourage all levels of government to work together to improve maternal health outcomes, and promote initiatives that address inequalities in maternal health resources. The resolution is led by U.S. Representative A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04).
“No mother should worry about dying during childbirth in the twenty-first 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 in their postpartum months should be a common priority. I’d like to thank Congressman McEachin for his leadership on this issue, and I’ll keep fighting to raise awareness about these deaths, as well as push for solutions that can lead to healthier mothers and families.”
“As a father to two young women, Virginia’s black maternal health crisis is personal,” said McEachin. “I am standing not just with the black women across the state who are already committed to this important work, but with my children and future generations. The racial disparities in Virginia’s maternal health outcomes are yet another example of the reality that from birth, our communities are forced to grapple with systemic racism. I look forward to further supporting the work of advocates in Virginia and my colleagues in Congress towards reducing black maternal mortality rates throughout the Commonwealth and across the country.”
Currently, the United States and Serbia are the only developed countries in the world seeing rising maternal mortality rates.
In the United States, more women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than in any other industrialized country—and the rate of these deaths continues to rise. Between 1991 and 2014, the U.S. maternal mortality rate more than doubled from 10.3 to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 births.
The resolution is also cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Robin Kelly (D-IL-02), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10).