Home > Birth to Three > Allow Counties to Form Local Maternal Mortality Review Teams

ACTION ALERT:  In Maryland, black women are 3-4 times more likely to die within a year of childbirth than white women are.  Let us prevent these deaths from happening by creating Local Maternal Mortality Review Teams.  Send a letter to your legislator to support this move. Click here.

Advocates for Children and Youth is excited to be partnering with B’more for Healthy Babies, The Family League of Baltimore City, the Baltimore City Health Department and Andrea Williams-Muhammad, co-founder/Executive Director of Nzuri Malki Birth Collective and national collaborator with the Black Mamas Matter Alliance to pass legislation that will allow counties to form Maternal Mortality Review Teams to help prevent maternal deaths related to childbirth and eliminate the current racial disparities that persist across Maryland. The maternal mortality rate is 2.7x higher for Black women in Maryland than white women. Nationally, black women with the highest levels of education and socio-economic status have worse birth outcomes than white women with the least amount of education and who are in the lowest socio-economic groups. By allowing jurisdictions with high maternal mortality rates to analyze these deaths, we are hopeful that systemic changes can be made to eliminate these disparities for black women.

After working closely with the groups with concerns about SB 602/HB 796, we were able to amend the language to get everyone in agreement. We received a unanimous favorable report on the amended version of HB 796 from the Health and Government Operations Committee!

We had a great hearing for HB 796!

Our hearing in the House Health and Government Operations Committee for HB 796 will be held on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 1 pm.

Our hearing for SB 602 went really well! To read ACY’s written testimony in support, please click here. Our witnesses in support of this legislation included:

  • Ana Rodney, Founder of Mom Cares Baltimore,
  • Cathy Costa, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health at the Baltimore City Health Department,
  • Andrea Williams-Muhammad, Co-Founder/Executive Director of the Nzuri Malki Birth Collective and National Collaborator with Black Mamas Matter Alliance,
  • Ashley Black, Attorney with the Access to Health & Public Benefits Project at the Public Justice Center, Inc.,
  • Beth Morrow, Associate Director of Public Policy at Maryland Family Network,
  • Matt Quinlan, Public Policy Manager at the Family League of Baltimore City, and
  • Melissa Rock, ACY’s Birth to Three Strategic Initiative Director.

SB 602 will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, February 14th at 1 pm.

Our House Bill is HB 796. Delegate Wilkins is our lead sponsors and our co-sponsors include:

  • Delegate Bagnall
  • Delegate Hill
  • Delegate Kerr
  • Delegate R. Lewis
  • Delegate Listani
  • Delegate Patterson
  • Delegate Shetty

Our Senate Bill is SB 602 and our Senate Sponsor is Senator Nathan-Pulliam.

January 24, 2019: Please find The Family League’s one-pager about maternal mortality here.