Tell Congress: Pass Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011

May 10, 2011

On Sunday you called your mom. Today, call on your elected officials to protect maternal health.

This Wednesday, May 11, a Mother’s Day briefing on Capitol Hill will shine a light on the maternal health care crisis in the United States. Featured guest Christy Turlington Burns, maternal health advocate and director of No Woman No Cry, will join Amnesty International researcher Nan Strauss and others to advocate for the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011.

Drafted to address some of the most pressing recommendations in Amnesty International’s report on maternal mortality in the US, Deadly Delivery, this innovative bipartisan legislation would:

  • Help establish a maternal mortality review board in every state, to analyze maternal deaths and recommend changes to prevent future deaths;
  • Fight disparities in maternal health outcomes with new research and pilot programs, and;
  • Combat severe maternal complications by expanding research, data collection and analysis.

A year ago, when we launched our groundbreaking Deadly Delivery report, the United States ranked 41st in maternal mortality – women were at greater risk of dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth than in 40 other countries. This year, the just-released one-year update report to Deadly Delivery shows that things have gotten even worse – the United States now ranks 50th. And the disparities are shocking. For example, women in low-income communities are twice as likely to die as women in high-income communities.

The Maternal Health Accountability Act, introduced by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, addresses some of the most urgent recommendations of Amnesty’s research. The briefing that he’s co-sponsoring, along with Representatives Diana DeGette of Colorado and Lois Capps of California, will focus Congressional attention on this urgent issue. Now is the perfect time to raise your voice!

The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011 is a step towards reducing the needless loss of women’s lives that tragically affect so many families in the United States and preventing the complications that have risen steadily for decades.