The Gist: Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) recently introduced the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act of 2023, a bipartisan legislation aimed at supporting maternal health and reducing disparities in maternal health outcomes.
The act would provide states with the necessary resources to improve the quality of healthcare and outcomes for mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.
What Happened?: In Georgia, a recent study revealed that 89% of maternal deaths over a three-year period were preventable. This study was made possible through the funding provided by the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018.
In light of these findings, Senator Reverend Warnock emphasized the importance of reauthorizing the programs that collect and analyze maternal health data, as well as establish prevention strategies. He also highlighted the need for bias training programs in healthcare systems and the expansion of Medicaid in all states that have not yet done so.
By The Numbers:
- 89% of maternal deaths in Georgia over a three-year period were preventable.
- The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among wealthy countries.
- Georgia’s maternal mortality rate is nearly twice the national average.
Why It Matters: Maternal mortality rates in the United States continue to be a pressing issue, with Georgia having particularly high rates. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act aims to address this crisis, improve data collection and analysis, and implement strategies for prevention. The legislation represents a bipartisan effort to ensure that every mother has access to safe and healthy pregnancy experiences.
What’s Next?: The Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act of 2023 was not only introduced by Senators Warnock and Capito but also by Senators Roger Marshall (R-KS), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Tina Smith (D-MN). Companion legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Diana DeGette (D-CO). The next step would be for the legislation to be reviewed and considered by relevant committees before potentially being voted on. The passage of this act would significantly contribute to addressing the maternal health crisis in the United States, particularly in states like Georgia.
See it for yourself: You can read the legislation for yourself below.