My bipartisan bill to prevent maternal deaths passed out of Congress and is now heading to the president’s desk to be signed into law. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) joined me in this effort, which marks the strongest step Congress has taken to date to reverse the growing maternal mortality rate in the U.S. H.R. 1318, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, would establish and support state Maternal Mortality Review Committees to review every pregnancy-related or pregnancy-associated death, and based on those findings, develop recommendations for how to prevent future mothers’ deaths.
As a mom and a lawmaker, this is personal to me, and it was an honor to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to lead this life-saving measure successfully through the House. 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.
The rise of maternal mortality in the U.S.:
• The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, and the rate continues to rise. Between 700-900 women die in the U.S. every year from pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of maternal deaths are preventable.