How Congress Can Act Now to Address Maternal Mortality in 200 Words

This week, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) joined with more than 80 other national organizations urging Congress to consider federal legislation to address maternal mortality. Shockingly, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. has been rising steadily in recent decades. Within these fatalities, significant racial and socioeconomic disparities are apparent, meaning that low-income and minority mothers are at heightened risk of maternal mortality. The numbers are dramatic: black women are more than three times as likely to suffer a pregnancy-related death as white women.

The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017 is a bipartisan bill that focuses on reducing maternal fatalities by eliminating these disparities. Under the bill, states could access funds to develop and implement reporting requirements to identify all cases; conduct research and analysis of pregnancy-related deaths; and build partnerships to develop provider education, disseminate research findings and implement recommendations. Here at PolicyLab, we believe evidence is key to creating sound policy solutions, and this bill’s emphasis on research and the development of evidence-based interventions will do just that.  

Jennifer Clendening, MPA, MBE, is a former health policy manager at PolicyLab.

This post is part of our “____ in 200 Words” series. In this series, we tackle issues related to children’s health policy and explain and connect you to resources to help understand them further, all in 200 words. If you have any suggestions for a topic in this series, please send a note to PolicyLab’s Strategy & Communications Manager Lauren Walens.