WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a resolution recognizing Black Maternal Health Week, “to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women and birthing persons.” Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11 through April 17.Representatives Alma Adams (NC-12) and Lauren Underwood (IL-14) introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives earlier this week. The legislation has 22 co-sponsors in the Senate and over 47 in the House.
“As it stands, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed nations, a crisis that puts Black birthing people especially at risk,” said Senator Booker. “By taking meaningful steps to address the disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, we can save lives. That is why I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Representatives Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood in introducing the 2021 Black Maternal Health Week resolution recognizing the week of April 11 to April 17 as Black Maternal Health Week and compelling us to act to confront this crisis that is killing American mothers.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the racial disparities that exist in maternal health care,” said Senator Menendez. “We must focus our resources on breaking down barriers and ensuring black women have equitable access to affordable, high quality maternity care. I’m proud to work alongside Senator Booker in authoring and supporting legislation that reduces racial health care disparities and improves maternal health outcomes.”
In addition to Booker and Menendez, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Duckworth (D-IL), Blumenthal (D-CT), Markey (D-MA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Stabenow (D-MI), Durbin (D-IL), Padilla (D-CA), Merkley (D-OR), Brown (D-OH), Warnock (D-GA), Peters (D-MI), Baldwin (D-WI), Smith (D-MN), Sanders (I-VT), Kaine (D-VA), Van Hollen (D-MD), Bennet (D-CO), Klobuchar (D-MN), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rosen (D-NV).
The resolution is endorsed by over 120 organizations, including Black Mamas Matter Alliance, National Birth Equity Collaborative, Center for Reproductive Rights, March of Dimes, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, American Public Health Association, National Urban League, and Ancient Song Doula Services. You can find the full list of endorsing organizations here.
A copy of the resolution can be viewed here.