April 12, 2021
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the resolution introduced by Representative Alma Adams, (NC-12), Representative Lauren Underwood (IL- 14), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) designating April 11-17, 2021 as national Black Maternal Health Week.
The dismal state of maternal and infant health disparities in the United States continues to disproportionately impact black women and babies. In 2020, the rate of pre-term births—the second largest contributor to infant death in the United States—increased to 10.2 percent of births. Black women experience premature delivery at a rate 50 percent higher than all other American women. To address this disparity, in June 2020 NCL led a coalition of organizations in advocating for the FDA to protect patient access to a critical therapy for pregnant mothers at risk of recurrent preterm birth—lack of access to this therapy could disproportionately and negatively impact women of color.
NCL has long advocated for policies to improve maternal health outcomes and sought to address the persistent racial and ethnic health disparities that lead to adverse birth outcomes for black women. NCL is proud to support the Black Maternal Health Momnibus, a package of 12 bills intended to comprehensively address the maternal health crisis that disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and women of color in this country. NCL also applauded a provision within the American Rescue Plan that allows states to extend Medicaid coverage to women for up to one year after childbirth. This provision to expand postpartum care is vital to improving maternal health outcomes for our most vulnerable moms.
“In order to address the maternal mortality crisis in this country, we need to recognize the link between structural racism and the social determinants of health that contribute to the disproportionately high rate of maternal mortality among Black women. This resolution designating Black Maternal Health Week is an important step in supporting policies to improve maternal health outcomes for Black Mamas,” said NCL Health Policy Director Jeanette Contreras.
About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.