Congress Reintroduces Black Maternal Health “Momnibus” Legislative Package
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2021
Contact: ACNM Membership & Communications
240.485.1813; [email protected]
Yesterday, Congress reintroduced a sweeping package of twelve maternal health-related bills that seek to address racism and racial inequities disproportionately impacting pregnant and birthing people in the United States. Championed by House Black Maternal Health Caucus co-founders, Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and Alma Adams (D-NC), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), the Black Maternal Health Act of 2021 seeks to address many of the underlying causes of a broken maternal health care system that disproportionately impacts Black and Brown communities. The “Momnibus” centers Black and Brown pregnant and birthing people by taking steps to address some of the root causes that have led to the staggering and abysmal maternal health statistics impacting these communities.
“ACNM applauds the Black Maternal Health Caucus and the members of Congress engaged in efforts to address the appalling racial and ethnic disparities, racism, and biases in the delivery of, and access to, maternal health care,” stated ACNM President Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “ACNM is committed to eliminating racism and racial bias both in the midwifery profession and across the healthcare continuum. The persistent and pervasive race-based disparities that have long existed in maternal and child health are unconscionable and we must be deliberate in our efforts to implement the system changes so desperately needed.”
Introduction of the Black Maternal Health Act of 2021 is a historic step to address our nation’s maternal health crisis and ACNM stands ready to work with Congress to improve maternal health services and maternal and neonatal health outcomes for Black and Brown communities and all pregnant and birthing people.
“The causes for the escalating rates of maternal mortality and morbidity within Black and Brown communities are complex and include a lack of access to the full-spectrum of qualified, culturally-competent maternal health providers, including certified nurse-midwives and certified midwives,” stated ACNM CEO Katrina Holland. “ACNM is leaning into this moment and demanding change. Midwifery is part of the solution for affordable and safe healthcare for women."
The ‘Momnibus’ seeks to invest in training a cadre of perinatal health providers to improve upon and better address the significant disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes found in Black and Brown communities. ACNM stands ready to advocate for passage of the ‘Momnibus’ alongside the Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services Act, complementary legislation to ethnically and racially diversify and increase capacity within our nation’s accredited midwifery education programs.
ACNM commends the champions behind the Black Maternal Health Act of 2021 and looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders and the larger maternal and women’s health stakeholder community to improve the culture of health for pregnant and birthing people and the communities midwives serve.
Contact Amy Kohl, ACNM Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs, for more information on the Black Maternal Health Act of 2021.