Selma native and seventh district representative Terri Sewell recently introduced a legislation titled the Maternal Vaccination Act, which according to an announcement, will provide funding to increase maternal vaccination rates.
Described also as the “Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act”, the act is also aimed at reducing what was called vaccination disparities among mothers.
“The reality is that in this nation of so much wealth and prosperity, there is no reason that African American women should be dying at rates three times that of white women in pregnancy and childbirth,” Sewell said in the announcement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the maternal mortality crisis affecting Black women, especially in Alabama, which ranks third highest in the nation in maternal death rates. I remain committed to doing everything in my power to ensure every Black woman has equal access to maternal healthcare, and the Maternal Vaccination Act will help get this done!”
The announcement said that there are disparities in mortality rates among mothers, with black mothers being the higher rates.
The act includes 12 bills to address medical issues among mothers and proposes to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage.
See below for a list of provisions that the act proposes:
Make critical investments in social determinants of health that influence maternal health outcomes, like housing, transportation, and nutrition.
Provide funding to community-based organizations that are working to improve maternal health outcomes and promote equity.
Comprehensively study the unique maternal health risks facing pregnant veterans and support VA maternity care coordination.
Grow and diversify the perinatal workforce to ensure every mom in America receives maternity care and support from people they can trust.
Improve data collection processes and quality measures to better understand the causes of the maternal health crisis in the United States and inform solutions to address it.
Invest in programs to expand access to treatments and support for maternal mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
Improve maternal health care and support for incarcerated moms.
Invest in digital tools like telehealth to improve maternal health outcomes in underserved areas.
Promote innovative payment models to incentivize high-quality maternity care and continuity of health insurance coverage from pregnancy through labor and delivery and up to 1 year postpartum.
Strengthen programs to improve maternal health during COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.
Invest in community-based initiatives to reduce levels of and exposure to climate change-related risks for moms and babies.
Click here to read a copy of the Maternal Vaccination Act or Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act.