BREAKING: Bipartisan Maternal Health Legislation Introduced by Senator Reverend Warnock Included in Annual Government Funding Package

The bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act (S.1675), which Senator Reverend Warnock introduced in May 2021 with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), is included in the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) government funding bill

Senator Reverend Warnock has championed addressing maternal health disparities, including introducing the Kira Johnson Act and the Improving Coordination for Healthy Moms Act to address the nation’s maternal health crisis

Senator Reverend Warnock: “I’m thrilled that my bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio is on its way to be becoming law, and not a moment too soon. As we continue celebrating the contributions of women this month, I’ll continue to push the federal government to take critical action to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity across Georgia.”

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) applauded the passage of his legislation, the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, which passed the Senate as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) spending bills. The bipartisan legislation, which is co-led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), will improve maternal health by authorizing new grant programs to reduce maternal mortality and improve implicit bias training for providers.

“It’s been said that of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane, and the disparity Black pregnant women experience when accessing care is unconscionable—especially considering they are dying at three to four times the rate of other pregnant woman,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “I’m thrilled that my bipartisan legislation with Senator Rubio is on its way to be becoming law, and not a moment too soon.”

Senator Reverend Warnock continued:“As we continue celebrating the contributions of women this month, I’ll continue to push the federal government to take critical action to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity across Georgia.”

Senator Warnock’sMaternal Health Quality Improvement Act (S.1675) would: 

  • Create a grant program for innovations in reducing maternal mortality, including developing evidence based best practices and improving maternal mortality review committee data;
  • Create a grant program for racial and ethnic bias training for health care providers;
  • Authorize a study on best practices for teaching within health professional training programs to reduce and prevent discrimination;
  • Create a grant program for developing integrated health care services for pregnant and postpartum women and infants, with grants and reporting of study outcomes.
  • Create an education campaign to promote and improve vaccination rates.

Senator Warnock has fought to improve maternal health outcomes for moms in Georgia and throughout the country. In the richest nation on earth, moms are dying at higher rates than other high-income countries – and the rate is rising. The crisis is most severe for Black moms in the U.S., who are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts, according to the CDC. According to Georgia ACLU, in Georgia the mortality rate for Black women is more than 6 times higher. 

Additionally, maternal health experts caution that the COVID-19 pandemic may be exacerbating the maternal mortality crisis. According to the CDC, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people, and may be more likely to require hospitalization, intensive care, and ventilation. Prior to introducing his legislation, Senator Warnock also supported efforts to create a state option to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months after delivery in the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed last March. 

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Title and affiliation are provided for identification purposes only. A pastor and social justice advocate, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock was elected to the United States Senate in 2021 and serves on the Senate Agriculture, Banking, and Commerce committees, as well as the Joint Economic Committee and Senate Special Committee on Aging.

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