Yesterday President Joe Biden signed into law a bill that is designed to address maternal mortality among women veterans. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood were on hand for the signing of the bill which both had championed.
About the Legislation
The legislation, dubbed the Protecting Moms Who Served Act, is the first bill in the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, which is a series of bills aimed at helping save moms’ lives, ending racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes and achieving maternal health justice.
“I am so proud that my bill, the bipartisan Protecting Moms Who Served Act, was signed into law by the President today—the first bill in my Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to be become law,” Underwood said in a statement. “This is a historic investment to provide our veterans with the world-class maternal health care they’ve earned – and it’s just the beginning.”
The new law provides a mechanism to allocate $15 million to help improve Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. In addition, it will commission the first study to be submitted to Congress on maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity among veterans, with a focus on racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes.
“It’s a tragedy every time a mother dies from a preventable cause related to pregnancy or childbirth, and it’s shameful that far too often these moms are women of color whose pain or symptoms have been overlooked or ignored,” Duckworth said in a statement. “I’m so proud that President Biden signed this bipartisan bill I introduced with Senator Collins and Representative Underwood—which would help address our nation’s growing maternal mortality crisis by helping ensure the pregnancy complications of all women Veterans are not overlooked or ignored—into law today.”
The Protecting Moms Who Served Act currently holds the endorsement of more than 150 organizations, including American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; NAACP; Society for Women’s Health Research; Women Veterans Interactive; and Wounded Warrior Project.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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