This bill — the Ending Maternal Mortality Act of 2018 — would require the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish a national plan to reduce the rate of preventable maternal mortality (maternal deaths during or within 12 months of pregnancy) by half over 10 years and eliminate it entirely over 20 years. Updated versions of the plan would be issued every two years. Each plan would have to address specific issues related to maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity (unexpected outcomes of labor & delivery that lead to significant short- or long-term consequences to a woman’s health) such as at-risk populations and disparities, quality of care, and public awareness.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
House Committee on Energy and CommerceIntroducedMay 10th, 2018
- house Committees
What is it?
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced this bill to develop a national plan to cut rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in half over the next decade and eliminate them entirely in 20 years:
“This legislation would require our leading public health officials to build and execute a plan to reduce preventable maternal deaths by half in the next 10 years and eliminate them entirely within the next 20. We cannot sit idly by as hundreds of American mothers die each year in the nation with the most advanced medical care on earth. It is not only possible to save their lives; it is our moral imperative.”
Original cosponsor Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) added:
“Congress needs to take action to help make giving birth a safer experience for moms across this country… I’ve heard far too many stories of women dying or experiencing traumatic health challenges in childbirth, and so many of the issues they’re confronting are preventable. Unfortunately, such stories have the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. heading in wrong direction.”
This legislation has the support of 31 cosponsors, including 30 Democrats and Congresswoman Herrera Beutler (R-WA).
Of Note: Figures from our partners at USAFacts, a non-partisan civic data initiative, show that while deaths from childbirth and related complications have been reduced by nearly half since 1980, the rate of decrease has flattened out in recent years. In 1980, 23,200 American women died and by 2000 that number had fallen to 14,473 deaths. Since then, the number of childbirth-related deaths trended upward for several years to 15,368 in 2007, before declining again to 12,724 deaths in 2016 — the most recent year data is available.
- Sponsoring Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) Press Release
- Cosponsoring Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA) Press Release
- The Hill
- USAFacts (Context)
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: iStock / O_Lypa)