SWHR Endorses Mothers and Newborns Success Act

Policy Engagement

Published 7/22/20

Society for Women’s Health Research President and CEO Kathryn G. Schubert, MPP, issued the following statement:

“The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is pleased to endorse the Mothers and Newborns Success Act, which addresses critical needs in the fight to reduce and prevent maternal and infant mortality and will help to close nationwide racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in maternal health outcomes. The bill was introduced today by U.S. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), members of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

The United States is one of the only countries where maternal mortality rates have risen in recent years. With 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is significantly higher than similarly developed countries. In addition, Black and Native women in the U.S. have maternal mortality rates more than twice that of non-Hispanic white women, and rural areas have a higher prevalence of maternal mortality than urban settings. Women of color experience health risks from systematic racism for years before pregnancy, often deliver at higher-risk hospitals, and are less likely to receive care for conditions related to pregnancy and delivery, such as postpartum depression.

The Mothers and Newborns Success Act is a comprehensive piece of legislation designed to ensure all mothers and infants have access to optimal care before, during, and after pregnancy. The bill supports crucial programs within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that address disparities, assist at-risk mothers and infants, improve access to pregnancy care in rural communities, and track and improve the validity and collection methods of maternal data.

The bill would also establish an HRSA pilot program to support postpartum health and a new research network at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to spur innovative research to reduce maternal mortality. It would also create an education campaign through the CDC to promote awareness of maternal and infant health needs.

SWHR congratulates Sens. Kaine and Murkowski and Rep. Sewell on the introduction of the Mothers and Newborns Success Act. We are hopeful this bill will be a significant step toward national improvements in maternal and infant health.”

About SWHR
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national thought leader dedicated to promoting research on biological sex differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, researchers, and health advocates, SWHR is making women’s health mainstream.