Dem lawmakers form Black Maternal Health Caucus

Reps. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodJim Oberweis wins GOP primary to challenge Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood Castro forms PAC, boosts five House candidates Overnight Health Care: Pence says 21 people on cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus | NY begs for more testing kits | Trump signs .3B emergency funding package | Experts say mortality rate likely to drop MORE (D-Ill.) and Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsOvernight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus tests House chairman calls on Trump administration to appoint medical supply coordinator Biden cinches support from third NC House Democrat MORE (D-N.C.) announced Tuesday morning that they have created a Black Maternal Health Caucus. 

At least 57 members of Congress had joined the caucus Tuesday afternoon, including House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerProcedural politics: What just happened with the coronavirus bill? DC argues it is shortchanged by coronavirus relief bill Lysol, disinfecting wipes and face masks mark coronavirus vote in House MORE (D-Md.) and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), according to Underwood's office.

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Underwood said the high maternal death rate among black women in the U.S. prompted her to co-found the caucus. 

"Our caucus will elevate black maternal health as a national priority and explore and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally competent policies and best practices for improving black maternal health," Underwood said at a press conference.

Adams tweeted that she was "thrilled" to help introduce the caucus.  

“The facts are simple. Black women are dying of preventable, pregnancy-related complications at an alarming rate, and as Black mother and grandmother, it’s personal to me," Adams said in a statement. "Maternal mortality disproportionately impacts Black women, and I started this caucus, so my colleagues and I can work together to find culturally-competent solutions specific to the Black community."

Clyburn also cheered the caucus's creation on Twitter:

The Hill has reached out to Underwood and Adams for additional comment. 

The U.S. has a higher rate of maternal deaths than any other developed country, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 births. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 60 percent of these fatalities can be prevented. Black women are four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. 

—Updated at 4:56 p.m.