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Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislative Package to End America’s Maternal Health Crisis

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act includes 13 bills to address the maternal health crisis, including Baldwin’s bill to diversify and grow the perinatal workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and bicameral group of colleagues introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, historic legislation to save moms’ lives and address every driver of maternal mortality, morbidity, and disparities in the United States.

“Maternal and infant mortality rates are tragically high in Wisconsin, and they are even higher in the Black community. This is a public health crisis, and we must do more to make sure women and families have access to quality, affordable health care,” said Senator Baldwin. “We know that healthier pregnancies lead to healthier babies. That’s why I am working with my colleagues to comprehensively address every dimension of the Black maternal health crisis.”

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country, and it’s rapidly getting worse. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that maternal deaths in recent year have increased by a dramatic 89%. But there is hope: More than 80% of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Comprehensive federal action is the solution we need to end this crisis and save moms’ lives.

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Alma Adams (D-NC-12), makes critical investments to address social determinants of health, provide funding for community-based organizations, grow and diversify the perinatal health workforce, expand access to maternal mental health care, address the effects of climate change on maternal and infant health, and improve data collection processes.

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus includes Senator Baldwin’s Perinatal Workforce Act to improve access to maternity care and grow and diversify the perinatal health workforce. The Perinatal Workforce Act establishes grant programs to increase the number of maternity care providers and non-clinical perinatal health workers who offer culturally congruent support to women throughout their pregnancies, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. The legislative package also will:

  • Make critical investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition.
  • Extend WIC eligibility in the postpartum and breastfeeding periods.
  • Provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity.
  • Increase funding for programs to improve maternal health care for veterans.
  • Improve data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the United States and inform solutions to address it.
  • Support moms with maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
  • Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated moms.
  • Invest in digital tools to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved areas.
  • Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and non-clinical support during and after pregnancy.
  • Invest in federal programs to address maternal and infant health risks during public health emergencies.
  • Invest in community-based initiatives to reduce levels of and exposure to climate change-related risks for moms and babies.
  • Promote maternal vaccinations to protect the health of moms and babies.

In the Senate, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus is endorsed by more than 200 organizations. A full list can be found here and additional quotes of support can be found here.

A one-pager of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus can be found here.