Protecting the Health of Pregnant People and Babies
WASHINGTON D.C. (May 24, 2021) — Black Women’s Health Imperative, Human Rights Watch, Moms Clean Air Force, A Better Balance, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Center for American Progress, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, and the National Birth Equity Collaborative will host the “Black Maternal Health and the Climate Crisis” congressional briefing on Wednesday, May 26th at 4:00pm EST. Congressional leaders, Representative Lauren Underwood (D- IL) and Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) will be joined by panelists, hill staffers, and the press to discuss the consequences of climate change and its impact on maternal health.
Research proves that over 32 million adverse pregnancy outcomes in the United States are due to heat exposure, air and water pollution, and an unhealthy climate. Maternal mortality, maternal morbidity, and premature birth in the US are among the worst in the industrialized world, and this burden falls disproportionately on Black women and their babies. Premature birth and rates of severe illness during Black women’s pregnancy are twice those of white women. Indigenous and Latina pregnant people also face worse maternal health outcomes than white women.
The Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act (H.R. 975) speaks to dangers related to changes in the environment and invests further into initiatives to reduce levels of extreme heat, air pollution, water pollution, and other environmental hazards that could affect pregnant people, postpartum people, their families, and their children.
On June 1st, the organizations will continue to raise awareness of the impacts of climate change on health outcomes in communities of color with a Day of Action, to include social media, video clips from the briefing, and more! Stay tuned!