Dem lawmakers form Black Maternal Health Caucus

Reps. Lauren UnderwoodLauren UnderwoodDem lawmakers form Black Maternal Health Caucus Blue states angry over SALT cap should give fiscal sobriety a try Congresswoman's green coat heats up Twitter MORE (D-Ill.) and Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsDem lawmakers form Black Maternal Health Caucus Jackson Lee: Dems must be 'vigilant' in ensuring all Americans have right to vote  Closing diversity gaps in patenting is essential to innovation economy 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 HoyerImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Cummings on impeachment: 'We may very well come to that' The Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? 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.