The Global MOMS Act: From Commitment to Action

May 13, 2010

On Tuesday, Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced the Improving Global Maternal and Child Health Outcomes While Maximizing Successes Act — or the Global MOMS Act — which would take steps to fulfill U.S. commitments to improving maternal health around the world.

In 2000, the United States — along with the whole of the international community — pledged to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. President Obama has said he will make the MDGs “America’s Goals”. But MDG 5, which targets a 75% cut in maternal mortality, is the farthest off-track of all the goals. Hundreds of thousands of women continue to die every year from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Two years ago, the House and Senate both passed resolutions affirming Congress’s commitment to fighting maternal mortality abroad and at home.

The Global MOMS Act is a key step in making good on those commitments. It would expand access to the full continuum of maternal health care, from voluntary family planning through postpartum care. It would “ensure that [maternal health care] services are based in individual human rights”. And it would call for development of a national strategy for fighting global maternal mortality, and better coordinate existing U.S. maternal health efforts.

The bill is endorsed by 17 organizations, including Amnesty International, CARE, and the White Ribbon Alliance. Eight of Rep. Capps’s House colleagues are already on board as co-sponsors. Ask your representative to co-sponsor the bill today!

Faraaz Mahomed and Heather Lasher contributed to this post.