Herrera Beutler introduces bill with goal of eliminating pregnancy-related deaths

Congresswoman from Battle Ground says Congress needs to take action to make a birth a safer experience

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, is among the lawmakers leading the charge in hopes of passing the Ending Maternal Mortality Act, legislation that would create a national plan to halve rates of maternal mortality and morbidity over the next decade and eliminate preventable deaths entirely within 20 years.

Jaime Herrera Beutler is one of 16 co-sponsors on a bipartisan bill titled the Ending Maternal Mortality Act. Photo courtesy of the office of Jaime Herrera Beutler
Jaime Herrera Beutler is one of 16 co-sponsors on a bipartisan bill titled the Ending Maternal Mortality Act. Photo courtesy of the office of Jaime Herrera Beutler

She and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Illinois, led 16 cosponsors in introducing H.R. 5761 last week, according to a press release from the congresswoman’s office.

“Congress needs to take action to help make giving birth a safer experience for moms across this country. That’s why my colleague Rep. Krishnamoorthi and I are introducing the Ending Maternal Mortality Act,” said Herrera Beutler. “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 the wrong direction. Whether it’s this new legislative effort with Rep. Krishnamoorthi, or my Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that would help states understand the maternal health challenges in local communities, it’s time for Congress to act.”

According to Herrera Beutler’s office, between 700 and 900 American women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes each year, and more than 50,000 nearly die. The United States ranks 47th for maternal mortality rate globally, and is one of only eight countries in which the maternal mortality rate is rising. According to Herrera Beutler, the CDC estimates 60 percent of maternal deaths are preventable.

Herrera Beutler summarized the proposed legislation as such: “The Ending Maternal Mortality Act would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to design and implement a National Strategy to Combat Maternal Mortality with the goal of cutting the rate of preventable maternal deaths by half in the next decade. The public plan would address the need for improved data collection, increased understanding of maternal mortality, eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcomes, and best practices for hospital and health providers. The National Plan will be developed in conjunction with patient advocates, health care providers, hospitals and medical practitioners, and public health officials.”

“We just celebrated the moms in our lives and I’m hopeful that as the number of mothers in Congress grows, this body will continue to commemorate the day with life-saving solutions for families everywhere,” Herrera Beutler said in the press release.

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