Birmingham– U.S. Senator Doug Jones, alongside Senator Martha McSally, introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce the number of maternal deaths and improve the quality of care for moms during pregnancy and after childbirth.
The Maternal Outcomes Matter (MOM) Act of 2019 establishes grant programs within the U.S. Health and Human Services(HHS) Department to support innovation in maternal health care and train health care providers to avoid discrimination in the provision of maternal health care services. The bill also holds HHS accountable for these grants programs by requiring the department to submit a report to Congress on outcomes and best practices.
“It is absolutely appalling that here in the United States we have one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world,” said Senator Jones, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee. “We can and must do better, and this bill is an important first step in addressing the maternal mortality crisis and preventing future tragedies. All women in this country, regardless of race or socioeconomic background, deserve quality access to maternal care.”
According to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 700 women die each year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications and a majority of these deaths could have been prevented. In 2017, 41 women officially died from pregnancy or delivery complications in Alabama — the second worst maternal death rate in the nation. African American women fare even worse, dying from complications at a rate of three to four times higher than white women.