WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Planned Parenthood Action Fund celebrates the reintroduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act sponsored by U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Alma Adams (D-NC-12), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). This bill, previously championed in the Senate by Vice President Kamala Harris, is an important step to redress the alarming racial disparities in pregnancy outcomes for Black women, who are more than three times as likely to die due to pregnancy-related causes in comparison to non-Hispanic white women. A significant contributor to the disparity is structural racism within the health care system. Health care inequities are also apparent in the COVID-19 pandemic, which is ravaging Black communities at a disproportionate rate and exacerbating the maternal health crisis. Planned Parenthood Action Fund calls on Congress to pass the Momnibus and work towards eradicating racial disparities in health care and other institutions.
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“As we celebrate Black women this month and throughout the year, we must also fight for and protect Black women. This means finally addressing the disturbing Black maternal mortality rate that has taken the lives of far too many Black mothers. We know that systemic racism in health care disparately impacts Black women and communities, as evident with COVID-19. And we know what health policies we need to implement to address these problems — that’s why we are calling on Congress to act. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is proud to stand with Representatives Underwood and Adams, Senator Booker, the Black Maternal Health Caucus, and Reproductive Justice partners in supporting the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.”
The Momnibus consists of 12 separate bills that target the public policies critical to addressing systemic causes of Black maternal mortality, including new measures to address maternal health during the COVID-19 pandemic. These public policies include, but are not limited to:
- Addressing the social determinants of health, such as transportation for medical care, and access to safe and quality housing and nutrition;
- Funding for community-based organizations and public health departments;
- Funding for community-based organizations that work to promote black maternal health and health equity;
- Diversifying and growing the perinatal health workforce;
- Supporting the expansion of Medicaid coverage through one-year postpartum;
- Expanding access to telehealth services;
- Studying solutions to advance safe and respectful maternity care through the COVID-19 public health emergency and any future public health crisis;
- Funding for COVID-19 treatment and vaccines for those expecting;
- Addressing the effects of climate change related exposures like pollution, extreme temperatures or weather and other environmental threats on pregnant people and babies.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.