On May 23, 2023, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada, along with Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey, reintroduced the historic Black Mother Protection Act Monnibus Act. The purpose of this law is to address the causes of maternal mortality, morbidity, and health disparities in the United States while saving the lives of mothers.
Senator Cortez Masto stated that everyone should have access to healthcare, no matter their background. She has been fighting tirelessly against the unacceptable rise in maternal mortality in the country, specifically among mothers of color. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows an 89% increase in maternal mortality in recent years, and more than 80% of these pregnancy-related deaths are preventable in the United States.
The Black Maternal and Child Health Act is making important investments to expand and improve access to maternal healthcare, including investments in housing, transportation, and nutrition for families. It also extends WIC entitlement postpartum and lactation, funds community-based organizations working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity, increases funding for programs that improve healthcare for veteran mothers, and expands and diversifies the perinatal workforce so that every mother in America has access to maternal healthcare and support from trusted individuals. It also supports mothers who have maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders and invests in federal programs to address maternal and child health risks during public health emergencies.
Additionally, the act invests in the level of climate change-related risk for mothers and babies and in community-based efforts to reduce that risk. Lastly, the act promotes mother-to-child vaccination to protect the health of mothers and babies.
Senator Cortez Masto is an avid advocate for working families, and she called for the expansion of health care options for pregnant women by allowing them to enroll or switch to healthcare plans after pregnancy. She has also introduced legislation to prevent housing discrimination against low-income families and give more individuals and their families access to affordable housing and financial mobility. Cortez Masto is also leading a bill to make healthcare more affordable for working families with children.
In conclusion, the Black Mother Protection Act Monnibus Act is a significant step towards reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, as well as addressing health disparities in the United States. It is crucial that everyone has access to healthcare, regardless of their background, and this law is an important step in that direction.