Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020

What is S. 3424, Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020?

Introduced by Senator Harris in March of 2020, S. 3424 will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to address maternal health outcomes among minority populations to being the long process of correcting racism and discrimination, particularly targeting Black women, in American healthcare.

Why do we need the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020?

This piece of legislation will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to address maternal health outcomes among minority populations through: 

  • Establishing task forces to address social determinants of health, maternal mental and behavioral health, and other topics.

  • Awarding grants for maternal mortality review committees, innovative maternity care models, and other purposes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services must establish a perinatal payment demonstration project. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation must report on the impact of housing and transportation during prenatal and postpartum periods, respectively. The Department of Veterans Affairs must submit a plan for maternity care coordination for women veterans, and the Bureau of Prisons must establish programs and award grants to certain prisons and jails to improve maternal health outcomes among incarcerated individuals.

 

The Government Accountability Office must report on the perinatal health workforce, maternity care compliance offices, and maternal health outcomes among veterans and incarcerated individuals. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine must report on specified topics, including training programs to reduce bias, racism, and discrimination. The Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission must report on the impact of Medicaid ineligibility on pregnant and postpartum individuals who are incarcerated.
 

The bill also expands eligibility for certain nutrition programs by increasing the postpartum and breastfeeding periods and reduces certain funding to states without laws restricting the use of restraints on pregnant women who are incarcerated.
According to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, the United States has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among comparably developed countries.

 

According to a study by the CDC, Black, Native American, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This disparity continues to increase with age. 
 

Additionally according to CDC, among women who survive pregnancy and childbirth, 50,000 women each year experience life-threatening pregnancy-related complications. This is called severe maternal morbidity (SMM).

  • African American women are twice as likely to experience SMM compared with non-Hispanic white women.

 

African American mothers are twice as likely to have an infant who dies before reaching their first birthday.
 

Racism drives racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality, but also there is a significant underinvestment in family support and health care programs that greatly contribute to maternal and infant health issues.

  • Many programs that support families in need (such as Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) have been facing steady loss of funding or budget cuts, which have a significantly larger impact on families of color, who are overrepresented in these programs because of barriers to economic opportunity.

View our issue one-pager here!

What can I do to take action to get this passed?

Call Your Senators. We need to garner more support in the Senate so that we can pass this. Use your power as a constituent to sway their support! Find your Senators and their numbers here!

Here is a sample script to use when calling your Senator: I am a constituent as well as a member of Generation Ratify, the youth-led movement to support Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and advance gender equality. I am calling you about S. 3424, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020.

This bill will direct the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other agencies to address maternal health outcomes among minority populations to being the long process of correcting racism and discrimination, particularly targeting Black women, in American healthcare

 

According to a study by the CDC, Black, Native American, and Alaska Native women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This disparity continues to increase with age. Furthermore, African American mothers are twice as likely to have an infant who dies before reaching their first birthday.

I urge the Senator to fight for mothers of color and support S. 3424. Thank you and have a good day.  

Email Your Senators. As mentioned above, we need to put the pressure on the Senate to pass this. Use this form to send an email straight to your Senators!

Call other organizers to contact their Senators. After contacting your Senators, help mobilize other young people to contact their's by phone-banking our registered members across the country using this phone-bank!

Talk about it on social media. Posting on social media is a great way to not only spread the word and drive people to action, but to also put pressure on our elected officials. Tweet it out by clicking this link!

Get out the vote for pro-gender equality candidates. This election decides the fate of gender equality legislation. We need a pro-gender equality majority in both the House and the Senate. Help us get there by empowering the youth vote and advocating for leaders that value equality for our Elect Equal Rights Campaign.

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