Kamala Harris Pushes Bill to Reduce Maternal Mortality Disparities

Vice-President Kamala Harris, along with Rep. Alma Adams, are pushing bill to address the racial disparity of Black maternal mor
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Vice-President Kamala Harris, along with Rep. Alma Adams, are pushing bill to address the racial disparity of Black maternal mortality.

The U.S. is one of 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality is now worse than it was 25 years ago.

For Black women, the risk of death from pregnancy-related causes is three to four times higher than for white women, and Black women are twice as likely to suffer from life-threatening pregnancy complications.

To help reduce those statistics, Kamala Harris reintroduced the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act, which she championed before becoming vice-president. The bill creates a $25 million grant program to fight racial bias in maternal health care through training programs and medical schools, and allocates $125 million to identify high-risk pregnancies and provide mothers with the culturally competent care and any resources they need.

“Black mothers across the country are facing a health crisis that is driven in part by implicit bias in our health care system. We must take action to address this issue, and we must do it with the sense of urgency it deserves,” said Harris. “My Maternal CARE Act will establish implicit bias training throughout the medical profession and help ensure that women—especially Black women—have access to comprehensive, culturally competent care.”

Additionally, the bill would require the National Academy of Medicine to study and make recommendations for incorporating bias recognition in clinical skills testing for medical schools. Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC), founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, introduced companion legislation in the House.

“We cannot address the black maternal health crisis facing this country until we address racial disparities in healthcare,” Adams said. “The Maternal CARE Act will confront the persistent biases in our health system to ensure Black women have equal access to the quality pre – and post-natal care they deserve.”

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