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Health Equity and Access

APA endorses critical bill to fight maternal health disparities

APA has endorsed the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which seeks to eliminate racial disparities in maternal health outcomes and increase access to mental health care for pregnant women and new moms.

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Friedl, S. (2021, February 8). APA endorses critical bill to fight maternal health disparities.

Pregnant mother sitting with her daughter on a couch

APA has endorsed Rep. Lauren Underwood’s (D-Ill.) Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, a comprehensive maternal health bill that seeks to expand and diversify the perinatal workforce, improve health outcomes for moms of color, support maternal mental health and moms with substance use issues, and improve care for incarcerated pregnant women. Rep. Underwood published a press release announcing the bill's unveiling.

“I am proud to offer the American Psychological Association's support of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act,” said APA President Jennifer F.  Kelly, PhD. “We have seen for too long the injuries and deaths of Black women shortly after giving birth. Psychological science shows us that, in the health care system, a Black person’s pain is not taken as seriously as a White person’s pain, and that women’s pain is not taken as seriously as men’s pain. That needs to be addressed, and this bill is a step toward improving outcomes for Black mothers and their babies. The priorities outlined in this legislation align closely with those of APA’s Presidential Task Force on Psychology and Health Equity. Health equity is critical at this moment in our history, and Black mothers cannot be left behind.”

This endorsement builds on APA’s historic support for maternal health equity, such as the Moms MATTER Act, a bill APA endorsed during the last Congress, and the Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act, a bill APA helped craft before it was first introduced in 2018.

For more information, contact Sophie Friedl.