Readout of White House State Legislative Convening on Maternal Health
Today, as part of Black Maternal Health Week, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Ambassador Susan Rice, Assistant to the President and Domestic Policy Advisor, and Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the Gender Policy Council, convened state legislators from across the country working to advance legislation to improve maternal health.
The Biden-Harris Administration has long prioritized improving maternal health, including releasing a Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, which provides a whole-of-government strategy to combatting maternal mortality and morbidity, reducing persistent disparities, and improving the overall experience of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum for women in this country. The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2024 includes $471 million to support ongoing implementation of the Blueprint and requires all States to provide continuous Medicaid coverage for 12 months postpartum, eliminating gaps in health insurance at a critical time.
In addition, today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of as much as $468 million in funding related to maternal and child health that will support home visiting programs, innovative efforts developed at the state level, and a research collaborative supporting Minority-Serving Institutions focused on addressing and finding community-based solutions to maternal health disparities.
State leaders continue to serve on the frontlines of developing and advancing policies to address maternal mortality and morbidity and protect women’s access to reproductive health care. Thanks to progress so far in the 2023 legislative session and actions taken by the Administration, more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have implemented or will implement a 12-month extension of Medicaid postpartum coverage, ensuring women have the coverage they need to stay healthy. In addition, legislators are advancing bills to expand access to midwives and doulas, establish and strengthen maternal mortality review committees, improve maternal mental health, and ensure workplace protections for pregnant women and mothers.
Senior White House officials thanked the legislators for their leadership and affirmed the Administration’s support and partnership in addressing the maternal health crisis, particularly in the wake of historic attacks on women’s access to reproductive health care and ability to make their own decisions about their bodies.
Participating state legislative leaders included:
- Kansas State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau
- Michigan State Senator Erika Geiss
- Nevada State Assemblywoman Danielle Monroe-Moreno
- North Carolina State Senator Natalie Murdock
- Pennsylvania State Representative Morgan Cephas
- Tennessee State Senator London Lamar
- Utah State Representative Ashlee Matthews
- Wisconsin State Representative Shelia Stubbs