- Frank PalloneRepresentative
- Joe PittsRepresentative
- Michael BurgessRepresentative
Help Save Mothers in the U.S. from Dying after Childbirth. Support H.R.4216: The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2014
It’s 2014, and you probably wouldn’t believe it, but maternal deaths in the United States are on the rise. I believe it because I almost died and became another statistic.
Four years ago, I started hemorrhaging after giving birth to my first child. Emergency personnel rushed in. Blood was pouring out of my body as my life hung in the balance. Doctors told me they weren’t confident that I would make it, but they’d do their best. What had been nine months of a drama-free pregnancy had instantly turned into a drama-filled nightmare. Fortunately, I survived -- but I know that I was lucky (as talked about here in my Huffington Post column).
Out of 180 countries, the United States ranks 60th in maternal deaths. This means 59 other countries are better at keeping new mothers alive than we are. That’s unacceptable. One critically important first step that we can take to prevent future maternal deaths is to urge the U.S. Congress to pass The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2014. If you entered this world through a woman, it is in your best interest to sign this petition.
Here’s why. Ninety percent of all pregnancy and birth-related deaths are preventable. But the causes of birth and pregnancy complications vary from woman to woman. This legislation will accelerate efforts to determine the exact causes, which will help physicians better pinpoint risks then take appropriate measures to ensure that each woman’s pregnancy is as safe as possible.
This bill would bring about several important measures to help us get there:
- mandatory reporting of all pregnancy-related deaths by health care providers
- a maternal mortality review committee per state on pregnancy-related deaths
- a national research program that better identifies and monitors maternal death cases
Listen, no one wants to think about death during one of life’s greatest moments, but the reality is women and children die everyday due to birth and pregnancy complications. When my life was on the line, I stared at my newborn daughter all night. I made a promise to her that I would be okay -- she would not be a motherless child. I want more women to be able to make that promise and to stand behind it.
If we want our government and healthcare leaders to improve maternal health in this country, filling this information gap is absolutely critical. With your signature, we can pressure Congress to make sure that more women and children can survive and go on to live productive lives.
I urge you to support the passing of
H.R. 4216: The Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2014.
Attention to maternal and infant mortality causes has increased dramatically within the last decade globally, leading to a worldwide decrease of maternal deaths. However, here in the United States, maternal deaths are rising, with most women succumbing to a postpartum emergency within hours or days after giving birth. We are lacking research, education and resources to help us understand how to respond to a postpartum emergency, prevent future maternal deaths, and help patients who have survived this type of traumatic event.
Out of 180 countries, The United States currently ranks 60th in maternal deaths. Each year, approximately 86,000 women in the U.S. suffer a birth or pregnancy complication, and out of those approximately 800-1200 die. Black women die at 3 to 4 times the rate of white women. 90% of these deaths are preventable.
The causes of postpartum hemorrhages and other complications vary greatly. Many women have a normal pregnancy and no pre-existing health conditions to cause concern and are faced with a harrowing ordeal after childbirth, that neither they nor their physicians can comprehend.
Currently, the United States is the only developed country in which the maternal mortality rate is rising. We can do better. Please make maternal mortality research a higher priority for our nation by supporting H.R. 4216 and bring much needed awareness to understanding the causes of maternal mortality and prevent future deaths.
Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this issue further.
Timoria McQueen started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,410 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.