U.S. suffers from highest mortality rate to birth mothers in developed world
Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill aimed at reversing the maternal mortality crisis in the U.S. Supporters say the bill represents Congress’ strongest action against the issue.
The bill from Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) would support state-level efforts to track and investigate pregnancy-related deaths, and then look for ways to prevent future deaths from occurring.
The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality among developed countries, at a rate of 26.4 deaths per 100,000 births. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 60 percent of maternal deaths are preventable.
The bill allows the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to states to establish Maternal Mortality Review Committees that review every pregnancy-related or pregnancy-associated death.
Herrera Beutler and DeGette, in a joint statement, called the bill’s House passage the “strongest step Congress has taken to date” to reverse the maternal mortality crisis.
“By providing states with resources to investigate every maternal death, we can begin to tackle this troubling trend and take appropriate steps to prevent such tragedies in the future,” they said. “We must improve our understanding of why mothers are dying in pregnancy, during childbirth and postpartum so we can then unleash every possible resource to protect women in this critical season of life.”
It’s not clear when, or if, the Senate will vote on its companion bill, authored by outgoing Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), though it passed out of committee earlier this year.
SOURCE: The Hill