The Momnibus Act Is Needed Now More Than Ever As Newly Released Data Shows Maternal Mortality Disparities Worsened in 2020
Washington, DC — Today, Protect Our Care is releasing a new report in response to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics, revealing that the U.S. maternal mortality rate jumped from 20.1 per 100,000 live births in 2019 to 23.8 in 2020. This increase was primarily driven by disproportionate mortality rates among Black mothers. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate for Black women (55.3 per 100,000) was three times higher than the rate for white women (19.1 per 100,000) in 2020. The Momnibus Act, championed by Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), includes critical investments to help address the systemic causes of the nation’s high maternal mortality rate. In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued the following statement:
“It is unfathomable that in the wealthiest nation on earth, our mothers are dying from preventable causes. The racial disparities in maternal mortality have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and the latest data confirms that this crisis is only getting worse without meaningful intervention. The Momnibus Act is a critical step toward ending the maternal mortality crisis and improving the health and well-being of mothers and babies. The Momnibus provisions have broad, bipartisan support, and Congress should do everything in its power to pass this legislation.”
- The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of the industrialized world. Women in the United States suffer from maternal mortality at a rate twice that of other industrialized nations, with health outcomes worsening over the last two decades. In 2020, the maternal mortality rate in the United States rose to 861 deaths, up from 754 in 2019.
- Women of color are acutely impacted by the maternal mortality crisis. Systemic racism and its direct impacts on the health care system, create dangerous and deadly outcomes for women of color, particularly Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women. The racial disparities in maternal health between Black and white women are at the same rate recorded in the 1940s.
- The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act investments will provide funding to address the root causes of maternal mortality. The Momnibus will provide funding to address social determinants of health, invest in health equity research and practices, and provide health care workers with the necessary tools to confront discriminatory and biased practices.