Senators Reverend Warnock, Rubio Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Promote Fatherhood Engagement, Improve Maternal Health Outcomes 

The Dads Matter Act of 2024 aims to improve maternal health outcomes through promoting fatherhood engagement

Senator Reverend Warnock has vocally advocated for legislation to combat maternal mortality 

Senators Reverend Warnock and Rubio previously partnered to pass a bipartisan law aimed at reducing maternal death, improving implicit bias training for providers

Senator Reverend Warnock: “Georgia’s maternal mortality rate is a crisis that we must address with every tool at our disposal. That includes redoubling our efforts to uplift the role of fathers in keeping their family healthy during pregnancy and early childhood”

 ICYMI from WSB: “Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock is taking on a health crisis affecting mothers and babies”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve maternal health outcomes by promoting fatherhood engagement. The Dads Matter Act of 2024 would direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to raise awareness about father inclusion and engagement through a public awareness campaign and to provide state-level guidance aimed at strengthening the role of fathers in supporting healthy mothers and babies. This legislation builds off a bipartisan Father’s Day resolution Senator Warnock led with Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) bringing the full Senate together to uplift and affirm fathers and their role in maternal health.

“Georgia’s maternal mortality rate is a crisis that we must address with every tool at our disposal. That includes redoubling our efforts to uplift the role of fathers in keeping their family healthy during pregnancy and early childhood,” said Senator Reverend Warnock.“With Father’s Day quickly approaching, now is the time to spread awareness about the critical role of fathers in improving maternal health outcomes and creating thriving families and communities.” 

“Involved fathers are pillars of strength in our families, embodying resilience, guidance, and unconditional love,” said Senator Rubio. “The Dads Matter Act would promote father engagement and lay the foundation for a stronger, more compassionate society.” 

The Dads Matter Act of 2024 would: 

  1. Direct HHS to carry out a public awareness campaign to increase awareness of the importance of father inclusion and engagement in improving overall health outcomes during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. 
  2. Direct HHS to issue guidance to states to encourage and incentivize maternity care providers to provide training and education to health care professionals about the benefits of including and engaging fathers in the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum process. 
  3. Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit a report to Congress that describes the results and effectiveness of this legislation. 

Senator Warnock has long championed legislation to combat maternal mortality and improve health outcomes for hardworking families. Senator Warnock previously partnered with Senator Rubio to pass the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act, signed into law in 2022, that provides federal funding to reduce maternal mortality and improve implicit bias training for providers to prevent maternal death. Senator Warnock also partnered with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) to introduce the Kira Johnson Act, legislation to provide funding to community-based organizations leading the charge to improve maternal health outcomes, particularly for Black women. Additionally, last summer Senator Warnock introduced a bipartisan bill with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) to support efforts to collect and analyze maternal health data to prevent maternal deaths; the bipartisan Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act would reauthorize programs to preserve maternal health throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, and would address disparities in maternal health outcomes through data collection, analysis, and strategies for prevention. In 2023, Senator Warnock also traveled to North Georgia to hear from health care providers and Georgians at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Gainesville about the state’s maternal mortality crisis and why Congress must act to invest in better health care outcomes for women in Georgia and across the country. Earlier this year, Senator Warnock introduced a resolution designating January 23 as Maternal Health Awareness Day in order to raise public awareness about maternal health and promote initiatives to address and eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes.