On May 26, Moms Clean Air Force and our partners held a virtual congressional briefing to discuss how climate change is impacting health outcomes of pregnant women and babies and how Black mothers are disproportionately affected by these health impacts.
This virtual Hill briefing included presentations from health professionals, maternal health researchers, and advocates. The speakers highlighted how climate change impacts maternal health, particularly among BIPOC, and offered solutions to ending racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes and achieving maternal health justice.
Recently, leaders in Congress introduced the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 (HR 959/S 346) in order to address uneven health outcomes among birthing people of color. The package includes a stand-alone bill, led by Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) and Senator Ed Markey (MA), focused on mitigating the impacts from climate change on moms and babies. Their Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act (H.R. 957/S. 423) invests in community-based programs and calls for the identification of climate risk zones for pregnant and postpartum people.
This bill is a historic step to end America’s maternal mortality crisis and achieve maternal health justice while addressing some of the grave health impacts of climate change on pregnant people.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Lead House Sponsor of the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act
Senator Ed Markey (MA), Lead Senate Sponsor of the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act
Dr. Rupa Basu, PhD, MPH, Chief, Air and Climate Epidemiology Section, California EPA/Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
Dr. Noelene Jeffers, PhD, CNM, IBCLC, researcher and Certified Nurse Midwife, National Association to Advance Black Birth
Kineta Sealey, Esq., Policy Counsel, Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI)
Sara Brafman, Director of the DC Office and Senior Policy Counsel, A Better Balance
Tesia Buckles, community advocate, A Better Balance, from Missouri
Dr. Camille Clare, MD, MPH, CPE, FACOG, Chair, District II (New York), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
This program was moderated by Molly Rauch, Public Health Policy Director, Moms Clean Air Force.
Program sponsors: A Better Balance, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Black Women's Health Imperative, the Center for American Progress, Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, Human Rights Watch, Moms Clean Air Force, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health and the National Birth Equity Collaborative