Press Releases

Burgess, DeGette Introduce Legislation to Address Maternal Health Disparities and Prevent Maternal Deaths

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the House Rules Committee, and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced H.R. 3838, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act of 2023. This legislation would assist states in preserving maternal health throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, addressing disparities in maternal health outcomes and finding solutions to enhance health care quality and outcomes for mothers. 

"The tragedy of preventable pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths demands a commitment to ensuring quality care to mothers throughout the pregnancy, including the post-partum period," said Rep. Burgess. "With close to three decades of experience as an OB/GYN, I firmly believe America should move towards eradicating all avoidable maternal deaths - a single loss is one too many. The passage of this bill holds profound personal significance for families across North Texas and the entire nation, and I express my heartfelt gratitude to the many voices that have contributed to this vital cause." 

“We are facing a maternal health crisis in this country and it’s imperative that we take steps now to address it,” said Rep. DeGette. “This legislation will provide critical resources to better protect women throughout their pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period. It will help save lives and ensure we are providing the best care possible to mothers throughout this country.”  

“Improving health outcomes for all patients, especially mothers, has been my mission since day one in Congress. The nation’s maternal mortality crisis, which severely impacts Georgians, is alarming and preventable. I’m proud to work with my congressional colleagues on the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act of 2023 so that we can implement policies that give mothers the best health care outcomes possible,” said Rep. Buddy Carter. 

“I am proud to lead the necessary reauthorization of the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act. Maternal mortality is still far too common for American families, especially in communities of color, and Congress has an obligation to understand the root causes and find solutions to prevent these unnecessary tragedies,” said Rep. Robin Kelly. “I have been a staunch advocate for Congressional action on maternal mortality for nearly a decade, and I am proud that language from my comprehensive maternal health bill – the MOMMA’S Act – was included in this legislation. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is an important step toward ending the crisis of maternal mortality and allowing every family to live happy, healthy, full lives.” 

“America is facing a maternal mortality crisis. In Florida, the number of maternal deaths is higher than the national average,” said Rep. Cammack. “We need to improve these numbers and promote developing best practices and integrating services for pregnant and postpartum women to improve maternal health care quality and outcomes. This reauthorization is crucial in helping curtail maternal mortality rates.” 

“It is extremely troubling that mothers in the United States are significantly more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than women in other high-income countries – and that Black women are three times more likely to die than other races,” said Rep. Castor. “Together, we can work to meet the needs of pregnant and postpartum women. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2018 established a comprehensive framework to help every mom have a safe and healthy pregnancy and reduce preventable deaths. This reauthorization will continue to support Maternal Mortality Review Committees while strengthening lifesaving initiatives that improve health outcomes for patients.” 

“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is grateful for the introduction of the bipartisan Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act in the House of Representatives this week. This bill will ensure continued support for the critically important work of state maternal mortality review committees, which are vital to our ability to address the rising rates of maternal mortality in the United States,” said ACOG President Verda J. Hicks, MD, FACOG. “Maternal mortality review committees play an essential role in improving maternal health outcomes across the country by advancing our understanding of why and how maternal deaths occur so that they can be prevented. ACOG thanks Representatives Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX); Diana DeGette (D-CO); Buddy Carter (R-GA); Robin Kelly (D-IL); Kat Cammack (R-FL); and Kathy Castor (D-FL) for sponsoring this bill’s reauthorization and reaffirming the importance of preventing maternal deaths.” 

“As the United States continues to experience the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, Congress needs to address this crisis through legislation that protects our nation’s mothers and babies. The Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act of 2023 ensures we’re able to invest and support state Maternal Mortality Review Committees to examine pregnancy-related deaths. It would also disseminate best practices to health care providers including hospitals, perinatal quality collaboratives, among others, on ways to prevent maternal deaths and illness. March of Dimes applauds the leadership of Representatives Burgess and DeGette on this issue, and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure the bill’s swift passage,” said Stacey Y. Brayboy, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs. 

Read the full text of H.R. 3838 HERE.