On Sunday, thousands of advocates for women’s health will converge in Washington, D.C. to draw attention to the growing need for women’s health care, and the GOP-authored American Health Care Act (AHCA), recently passed by the House, which would put maternal health services in jeopardy.
March on Moms will bring together a multi-diverse group of health professionals and consumer groups to draw national attention to maternal health. It will be held from Friday, May 12 through Monday, May 15.
On Friday, the group will visit Capitol Hill and speak to policy makers about the essential need for significant focus and funding on maternal health issues. Saturday will include a day of sight-seeing, followed by the Mother’s Day Rally on Sunday on the lawn of the Jefferson Memorial. On Monday, the group will once again speak with leaders about the importance of increased focus and funding for maternal health issues.
The Root writer, Elizabeth Dawes Gay, points out, “The image of a group of white men in suits celebrating the passage of a health care bill that would snatch away affordable access to health care from millions of people—including those living in poverty, people of color, people with disabilities or mental-health issues, and women planning to give birth—is one that will forever be etched into my mind.”
Video of the all white, all male group at the White House is a sharp contrast to those who will suffer if the bill is passed as-is by the Senate. And it’s an omen that signals women’s health is not a priority for some lawmakers.
The rate of pregnancy-related deaths among American moms is on the rise, according to the New York Times. Black women are three times more likely as white women to die from pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally, they experience more pregnancy-related conditions such as pre-eclampsia, have more premature or stillborn babies and higher rates of infant mortality.
Every year, according to Florida midwife Jennie Joseph, there are 60,000 “near-misses,” cases where women almost died from childbirth. Under AHCA, health insurance plans are not required to cover birth control, maternity care and emergency services. Sunday’s Mother’s Day rally will draw attention to serious deficits in the plan and put pressure on the Senate not to pass it. Members of the Senate have already said they will come up with a different bill.
March for Moms partners include the March of Dimes, Every Mother Counts and Lamaze International. For more information, visit www.marchformoms.org.