Rep. Krishnamoorthi introduces bipartisan legislation to prevent maternal mortality in the U.S.

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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, with supporters. (Facebook 2016 photo)

In time for Mother’s Day this March 13, Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care, introduced H.R. 5761, Ending Maternal Mortality Act, to create an ambitious national plan to halve rates of maternal mortality and morbidity over the next decade, with the goal of eliminating preventable maternal deaths within 20 years. They led 16 cosponsors in introducing the bill.

“Maternal health outcomes reflect how we value women and mothers, but despite our country’s prosperity, the United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world,” Krishnamoorthi is quoted saying in a press release. “This legislation would require our leading public health officials to build and execute a plan to reduce preventable maternal deaths by half in the next 10 years and eliminate them entirely within the next 20. We cannot stand idly by as hundreds of American mothers die each year in the nation with the most advanced medical care on earth. It is not only possible to save their lives; it is our moral imperative.”

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, receives the Champion of Change Award from the National Down Syndrome Society. Vancouver, June 2017. (Photo: House.gov)

“With Mother’s Day approaching, we want Congress to take action that would help make giving birth a safer experience for moms across this country. That’s why my colleague Rep. Krishnamoorthi and I are introducing the Ending Maternal Mortality Act,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler

Between 700 and 900 American women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes each year, and more than 50,000 nearly die. The United States ranks 47th for maternal mortality rate globally, and is one of only eight countries in which the maternal mortality rate is rising. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 60% of maternal deaths are preventable, but not enough is being done to support women and mothers across the nation.

The Ending Maternal Mortality Act would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to design and implement a National Strategy to Combat Maternal Mortality with the goal of cutting the rate of preventable maternal deaths by half in the next decade.