The legislative package addresses every leading cause of maternal death in the United States

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), author of the MOMMA Act, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) and Alma Adams (D-NC-12) to reintroduce the bicameral Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, historic legislation to save moms’ lives and address every driver of maternal mortality, morbidity, and disparities in the United States. 

“In the U.S., Black women are three times more likely than White women to die as a result of their pregnancy.  And Black babies are twice as likely as White babies to die in their first year of life. These numbers, especially for a nation as medically and technologically advanced as the U.S., are simply unacceptable,” said Durbin.  “The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act is a comprehensive legislative package that examines and addresses the root causes of maternal mortality.  This much-needed legislation will undoubtedly save lives and reduce racial disparities in health care outcomes.”

“When hundreds upon hundreds of expectant and new moms—especially Black moms—are dying every year from preventable causes in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, we cannot look away and do nothing,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to help us address the maternal mortality crisis in America, promote health equity and make sure more Black mamas have the chance to raise their babies.”

“The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of industrialized nations, and the rate is only rising. The data is even more concerning for Black moms,” said Booker. “No one deserves to be left behind by the health care system or face inadequate care during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. This legislation is a critical step towards saving lives, ending disparities in health care and outcomes, and ensuring our health care system treats all moms with the care and dignity they deserve regardless of their race or circumstance. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that would address the drivers of the maternal health crisis, invest in social determinants of health, and ensure comprehensive support for all people. It's time to prioritize the well-being of all, eliminate racial and ethnic disparities for Black and Brown moms, and create a brighter and healthier future for all families.” 

“To save moms’ lives and end the maternal health crisis in our country, we need urgent action,” said Underwood. “We know what’s needed to end this crisis, and the tools to get it done are within reach. The Momnibus is the solution, and I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Representative Alma Adams and Senator Cory Booker to make the investments we need to solve our country’s maternal health crisis.” 

“Maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the United States are unacceptable, and far higher than in other wealthy countries. The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2023addresses this urgent crisis that affects thousands of American parents every year,” said Adams. “As many as 80% of maternal deaths are preventable with proper care and treatment. The Momnibus makes over $1 billion in historic investments in the health and care of moms. It is nothing short of a game-changer for Black mothers as well as every parent bringing a child into the world. Now more than ever, it is critical we pass the?Momnibus and make sure no child grows up without a parent. As a Black mother and grandmother, take it from me: Black mamas can't wait!”    

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country, and it’s rapidly getting worse. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that maternal deaths in recent years have increased by a dramatic 89 percent. But there is hope.  More than 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. Comprehensive federal action is the solution we need to end this crisis and save moms’ lives. 

The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act makes critical investments to address social determinants of health, provide funding for community-based organizations, grow and diversify the perinatal health workforce, expand access to maternal mental health care, address the effects of climate change on maternal and infant health, and improve data collection processes.  

A one-page summary of the Momnibus, including a list of the 181 original House cosponsors, can be found here, and additional information about the individual bills in the Momnibus can be found on the Black Maternal Health Caucus website

A list of more than 200 organizations endorsing the Momnibus can be found here

Quotes in support of the Momnibus can be found here

The Momnibus is made up of thirteen bills sponsored by Black Maternal Health Caucus Members.

The legislation will: 

  • Make critical investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition. 
  • Extend WIC eligibility in the postpartum and breastfeeding periods. 
  • Provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity. 
  • Increase funding for programs to improve maternal health care for veterans. 
  • Grow and diversify the perinatal workforce to ensure that every mom in America receives maternal health care and support from people they trust. 
  • Improve data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the United States and inform solutions to address it. 
  • Support moms with maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders. 
  • Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated moms. 
  • Invest in digital tools to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved areas. 
  • Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and non-clinical support during and after pregnancy. 
  • Invest in federal programs to address maternal and infant health risks during public health emergencies.  
  • Invest in community-based initiatives to reduce levels of and exposure to climate change-related risks for moms and babies. 
  • Promote maternal vaccinations to protect the health of moms and babies. 

The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Peter Welch (D-VT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Fetterman (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). 

The full text of the bill can be found here