house resolution no.219

Rep. Brenda Carter offered the following resolution:

A resolution to declare April 11-17, 2024, as Black Maternal Health Week in the state of Michigan.

Whereas, According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2023, Black mothers in the United States die from pregnancy-related causes at three times the rate of white mothers; and

Whereas, The CDC data from 2021 for pregnancy-related deaths shows that maternal mortality rates are increasing rapidly, 26.6 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women, 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women, and 32.1 deaths per 100,000 live births for women of all races in the United States; and

Whereas, The United States has some of the worst rates of maternal and infant health outcomes among high-income nations, despite spending an estimated $111 billion per year on maternal, prenatal, and newborn care; and

Whereas, Black women have the highest percentage (14.8%) of US live births that are pre-term; and

Whereas, Disparities in maternal and infant mortality are rooted in structural racism; and the Institute of Medicine reported substantial disparities in the quality of care for minority communities even when accounting for healthcare insurance coverage and income; and

Whereas, Black women are more likely to quit, be fired, or return to work before they are healthy after giving birth due to inadequate family and medical leave policies; and

Whereas, Black maternal death is one of the widest but not the only racial disparities in women’s health; and

Whereas, Black women are 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than white women, 71 percent more likely to die from cervical cancer, and three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related or childbirth-related causes; and

Whereas, According to the National Institutes of Health, when compared with white women with the conditions of preeclampsia, eclampsia, abruptio placentae, placenta previa, and postpartum hemorrhage, which are common causes of maternal death and injury, Black women are three to four times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition; and

Whereas, Black women are more likely to experience reproductive health disorders such as fibroids, and are three times more likely to have endometriosis; and

Whereas, According to the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Project, between 2015 to 2019, Black women in Michigan experienced a pregnancy-related mortality rate of 29.8 deaths per 100,000 live births compared to 10.7 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women in Michigan; and

Whereas, According to the Commonwealth Fund, the United States has the highest maternal death rate in high-income countries in which two-thirds of all recorded deaths are deemed to be preventable and our state currently ranks 25th in the nation for maternal deaths; and

Whereas, These alarming statistics for Black maternal health cut across socio-economic status, maternal age, and education levels; and

Whereas, We recognize the necessity for increased attention to the state of Black maternal healthcare as well as the need to study and understand the root causes of the discrepancies in maternal health outcomes; and

Whereas, We support community-driven programs, care solutions, the improvement of prenatal care and overall maternal healthcare, the improvement of breastfeeding rates and nutrition, and the amplification of the voices of Black mothers, women, families, and stakeholders; including Black women from across the diaspora and Afro-Latinx groups; and

Whereas, We also recognize the necessity to end maternal mortality statewide, nationally, and globally in order to strengthen the need for maternal health and maternal rights; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That he members of this legislative body declare April 11-17, 2024, as Black Maternal Health Week in the state of Michigan.