Senator Sherrod Brown, along with other officials, announced an act aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality rates this week.
According to a press release, the Mothers and Offspring Mortality and Morbidity Awareness Act (MOMMA) is especially trying to lower mortality rates among mothers and babies of color.
“We already know that Ohio suffers from alarmingly high maternal mortality rates, especially among African American mothers,” Brown said in the release. “This legislation is important to lay the groundwork that can save the lives of countless mothers and their children. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to help us pass this bill without delay.”
Only 13 countries in the world have a higher maternal mortality rate now than they did 25 years ago — the United States being one of them.
The press release said maternal mortality takes the lives of about 700 American mothers every year. Ohio is also one of the worst states in the U.S. for black infant mortality, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Brown said there are five approaches that the MOMMA Act will use to reduce these statistics:
— To establish national obstetric emergency protocols through a federal expert committee
— To ensure the dissemination of best-shared practices and coordination amongst maternal mortality review committees
— To standardize data collection and reporting
— To improve access to culturally competent care throughout the care continuum
— To expand Medicaid coverage to new mom’s entire post-partum period (1 year)