WASHINGTON, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, March for Moms and its partners called on Congress to ensure the dignity and well-being of moms and growing families during the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to COVID-19, the United States was already one of the most dangerous high-resource places in the world to give birth. The current public health crisis has exacerbated some of the world's most significant problems with the maternal health care system, and our leaders must take action to protect moms.
"We must bring the United States to the forefront of maternal health," said Katie Shea Barrett, Executive Director of March for Moms. "During these uncertain times, prioritizing maternal health to reflect the necessary resources and protections for women and families is not only essential, but required for the well-being of our society."
March for Moms and its partners are advocating that Congress make certain that moms and birthing people, particularly those most at risk for poor outcomes, are prioritized and included when making critical economic and public health decisions about policies and services in these challenging times; ensure that no mom or birthing person loses their health coverage in the postpartum period by permanently extending Medicaid for pregnant people to 1 year postpartum; make safe and virtual care available to families for prenatal, early labor support, birth, and postpartum care through one year, including perinatal mental health care and community-based doula support; and expand and safeguard access to birth centers and midwives for healthy pregnant and childbearing people.
Today's video town hall and day of social media action mobilized thousands of people all across the country. And the activities were made possible by leading sponsors United Healthcare, Steward Healthcare Network, Maven Clinic, AWHONN, and Sage Pharmaceuticals and many other partners.
"I'm committed to a world in which every person can choose to grow their family with dignity," remarked Neel Shah, M.D., Co-Founder of March for Moms. "This year's event was not the one we originally envisioned all together on the national mall but we found a way to pivot and carry on because we know that the resilience of our society should be measured not just in terms of how we absorb the shock of a pandemic but in terms of how we keep the essential functions going."
During the town hall, attendees were joined by members of congress, doctors, and leaders from across the country to discuss the importance of action now.
"Right now, the United States has the worst rate of maternal death in the developed world," said Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-6). "My home state of Georgia has the second highest rate of maternal death in the country. Black women in America are about three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes. I am proud to have introduced a bill that will invest in our mothers and the access to services and critical research that we need to help save the lives of American women. We can solve this crisis if we work together: Republicans and Democrats fighting for a safe, more compassionate and more committed, community-focused future."
"It is a scary time that we are in, in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic but healthcare is still happening all around us," said Leana Wen, M.D. "There are people who are pregnant and who are going to give birth, maternal mortality is still a major issue in our country and there are healthcare disparities that are rampant and affect people of color and those who already face the greatest barriers to care. So I hope that you will join me, to continue to advocate for moms, children and families."
"Today we are watching as cracks that have long existed in our nation's healthcare system become massive chasms," said Rep. Joe Kennedy (MA-4). "Profound inequity has reared its ugly head once again, revealing that too often, black and brown lives are valued less than white ones. But as we watch in horror in the midst of this pandemic, that reality has been far too painful for women of color for far too long already. We need to be intentional about solving these societal ills today and tomorrow. Today, even though we can't be together, we march for justice, we march for equality, and we march for moms."
"What a year it has been since we have launched the Black Maternal Health Caucus, and introduced a comprehensive suite of legislation called the Momnibus," said Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14). "Legislation that we know is so critically important even in a time of a pandemic because we have babies being born and moms delivering. We want to make sure that we are doing all that we can to protect their health and save lives, even during this really challenging and unsettling time."
Additionally, March for Moms and its partners are calling on supporters to send a letter, share their story on social media, and sign a petition to demand Congress take action. Visit www.marchformoms.org for more information.
March for Moms is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit that aligns the diverse voices of families, health care providers, policymakers, and partners to advocate for mothers and families' health, well-being and equal access to care. For more information, visit https://marchformoms.org/.
SOURCE March for Moms