As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray worked to secure $50 million for initiatives to address maternal mortality in spending bill

New funds will help CDC and HRSA support state efforts on maternal health, and also expand evidence-based programs to prevent maternal death and improve care across clinical and public health systems

Earlier this week, at Senator Murray’s urging, the Senate health committee passed Heitkamp-Capito legislation to bolster state efforts to understand maternal mortality

U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, and women of color are disproportionately at risk

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS), released the following statement on the progress of recent bipartisan steps to address the nation’s high maternal mortality rate.

“It is entirely unacceptable that new mothers are dying in our country at rates far above any other developed country, that women of color are far more likely to be at risk, and that we don’t even fully understand why this is happening. Everyone—Democrat and Republican—should see this as an urgent challenge, so I’m glad we are beginning to take bipartisan action and make serious investments to address this crisis and I’m going to work hard to ensure these steps become law and that we continue building on the progress made today.”

The statement follows bipartisan steps this week to support, and fund, new research and evidence-based programs to prevent mothers from dying of preventable causes and close gaps in maternal health that disproportionately impact women of color.

This week the Senate HELP Committee passed the Maternal Health Accountability Act, a bill sponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to bolster state efforts to understand maternal mortality, and the LHHS Appropriation Subcommittee passed a bipartisan appropriations bill that included $50 million to fund the grants authorized in the Maternal Health Accountability Act and conduct other activities. The new funding will allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support state efforts to establish and strengthen maternal mortality review committees that investigate deaths associated with pregnancy, and will invest in expanding evidence-based programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prevent maternal mortality and to advance maternal health equity, such as the Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health and Healthy Start.