Federal lawmakers, especially Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), are striving to support mothers, particularly Black mothers, and to lower the maternal death rate.
Following the death of Olympic track and field athlete Tori Bowie during childbirth, politicians such as Blumenthal are urging Congress to pass legislation to address the causes of maternal mortality and disparities among women in the United States.
He and his colleagues are aiming to generate $1 billion for 13 measures aimed at resolving the maternal health problem in order to provide resources to solve the Black maternal health issue in Connecticut and across the country.
The goal is to focus on some of the causes of maternal deaths, such as food and housing, in order to create ground-level investments that will aid in maternal care in the future.
“The United States of America, the greatest nation in the history of the world, has the highest rate of maternal deaths of any industrialized country,”Blumenthal said.
Health care advocates rallied outside the Connecticut State Capitol building to save the lives of mothers throughout the country and the state of Connecticut.
The Connecticut pregnancy-related mortality ratio (PRMR) was 14.2 per 100,000 live births from 2015 to 2019. While this estimate increases the previously reported ratio of 10.3 per 100,000 live births from 2015 to 2017, it is lower than the US PRMR of 16.7 per 100,000 births from 2007 to 2016.
According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely than white women to die as a result of a pregnancy-related reason.
Over the last five years, the overall rate of maternal deaths has climbed by 89 percent.
“Many of the women we support on Medicaid are women of color. They fall right into this category of women that are dying at astronomically high and unnecessary rates,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner, Andrea Barton Reeves.
Bowie died 32 years old, and she was eight months pregnant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of maternal fatalities are avoidable.
“Race is a risk factor, zip codes are a risk factor for health care. These disparities are unconscionable in the greatest country in the history of the world,” said Blumenthal.