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In 2020, Alma Adams Advanced the Cause of Black Maternal Health

Dec 22, 2020
Press Release
Black Maternal Health Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Adams led a year of advocacy for Black birthing parents

Washington, D.C. – Since co-founding the Black Maternal Health Caucus in 2019, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) has been at the forefront of the fight for equitable health care for Black birthing persons. The year 2020 saw historic advances in public awareness and policy proposals, including the introduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14).

"As I've said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the disproportionate rate of mortality and morbidity among Black women is a crisis within a crisis," said Congresswoman Adams. "Tens of thousands of pregnant people have contracted COVID-19, the vast majority being Black and Brown birthing persons. As the pandemic rages on, the quality of maternal care has decreased as it has become harder to receive care. That’s why I am especially proud of the work we've done this year to bring attention to the issue of Black maternal health. In the 117th Congress, I'll continue to work with Vice President-elect Harris and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood to ensure all women have access to high quality maternity care, no matter where they live, how much they earn, or the color of their skin. Black mamas can't afford to wait."

The overall maternal mortality rate in the United States rose sharply over the past three decades, and Black women are more than three times more likely to die due to pregnancy-related complications than their white counterparts. Furthermore, Black and Hispanic moms have been more likely to become infected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adams’ advocacy over the past year included the introduction of the historic Momnibus legislation; interviews, editorials, TV and radio appearances; and a Women’s Symposium focused on Black Maternal Health during COVID-19.

Recommended Reading on the Black Maternal Health Crisis:

116th Congress Report of the Black Maternal Health Caucus
Summary: Black Maternal Health Momnibus
Congresswoman Alma Adams on Why She Co-Founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus


2020 Black Maternal Health Advocacy Timeline:

Jan. 29: NC Policy Watch: ‘It’s not fine.’ Black mothers and babies are dying in North Carolina

Feb 4: WFAE: Charlotte Physician Advocates For Black Maternal Health Crisis At SOTU Address

Feb. 5: Adams puts the focus on Black Maternal Health at the State of the Union

Feb. 12: Resolution Urging Federal Action on Black Maternal Mortality Health Crisis

Feb. 14: ESSENCE: Inside the Fight to End the Black Maternal Health Crisis

Feb. 14: PUMP for Nursing Act Introduced

March 4: The Lily: Black women are more likely to die during childbirth. These six leaders are trying to change that

March 10: Adams, Harris, Underwood Unveil Historic Momnibus Package

March 12: Charlotte Post: Momnibus' Aim: close American Maternal health gap

March 22: Michigan Daily: The Black Maternal Health Crisis: The Beginning of an End

April 9: LA Sentinel: Congresswoman Adams Discusses Maternal Mortality Rates and the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020

April 13: Rep. Alma Adams & Sen. Kamala Harris Introduce Black Maternal Health Week Resolution

April 13: ESSENCE: Black Maternal Health Week: Black Women On The Front Lines Discuss Sisterhood, Mission

April 13: Harris, 22 Senators Reintroduce Resolution Designating April 11-17 as Black Maternal Health Week

April 13: Planned Parenthood Action: Why the Fight for Black Mamas Is a Public Health Imperative

April 13: Black Maternal Health Week: Planned Parenthood Calls on Congress to Endorse The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020

April 14: Center for American Progress: Community-Based Doulas and Midwives Key to Addressing the U.S. Maternal Health Crisis

April 14: ESSENCE: We Can’t Let Up The Fight To End The Black Maternal Health Crisis, Especially Right Now

April 15: ESSENCE: Black Maternal Health Matters! 5 Issues Facing Black Mothers Today

April 16: Charlotte Talks: The Black Maternal Health Crisis

April 16: QCity Metro: Opinion | We can’t afford to lose more Black moms during childbirth

April 16: Video: Rep. Adams Holds Successful Women's Symposium

April 16: Charlotte Post: Black maternal health matters more than ever

April 17: Rep. Alma Adams Urges Adoption of the Kira Johnson Act

April 17: LA Sentinel: Video: Rep. Adams’ Women’s Symposium on Maternal Health Breaks Attendance Record

April 17: The Root: Thanks to Black Women, There's More Political Interest In Fixing Black Maternal Care Than Ever Before

April 18: Black Maternal Health Week in Review

May 4: Blavity: New York Woman Dies During Childbirth Days After Complaining About Hospital's Treatment Of Minority Women

May 7: This Mother's Day, We Advocate for Black Mothers' Health

May 8: Rewire: How You Can Help Black Mamas this Mother's Day

May 12: United Methodist Church: Saving Mothers' Lives: Justice for Incarcerated Moms

May 26: North Carolina Health News: NC congresswoman tackles maternal health disparities

June 2: National WIC Association: Urgent Action is Needed to Dispel Racism and Save Black Lives

June 24: In Style: After the Pandemic, We'll Finally Have to Address the Impossible State of Motherhood

June 24: The Hill: Help reverse devastating health disparities by supporting the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act

June 30: What to Expect: 20 Champions of Black Maternal Health

July 15: Adams, Harris support bias and anti-racism training in COVID-19 response

July 27: Brookings: To protect Black women and save America from itself, elect Black women

July 27: Adams and Underwood hosted the second annual Black Maternal Health Caucus summit

July 31: A National Reckoning: Highlights From A Conversation with Congresswoman Alma Adams

Aug. 1: Spectrum News: Addressing Racial Health Disparities

Aug. 6: Queen City Nerve: All Workers Need Paid Family and Sick Leave

Aug. 10: Vox: America is failing black moms during the pandemic

Aug. 13: Kamala Harris on successful Black Maternal Health outcomes

Aug. 15: Rep. Adams participates in the NATALsummit

Aug. 19: Rep. Adams tells her story on episode 8 of the NATAL Podcast

Sept. 3: Black Breastfeeding Week Resolution

Sept. 13: Babe: Inside the Black Maternal Health Crisis

Sept. 17: Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act Speech

Oct. 19: Medical News Today: What will the US election mean for Black-white disparities in maternal and child health?

Oct. 27: Congressional Care: Nurse Impact on Public Policy

Nov. 6: Adams and Underwood on strengthening nursing protections in the workplace

Nov. 12: Duke Medical School Ob/Gyn meets with Rep. Adams

Nov. 13: Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health: Black women's biggest health issue is the system

Nov. 17: Shocking CDC report on COVID-19 during pregnancy

Nov. 17: ESSENCE: Pregnant women are contracting COVID-19 and dying

Nov. 20: Kira Johnson Act gains momentum in Congress

Dec. 2: Medill: New legislation addresses long-standing Black Maternal Health crisis in America

Dec. 21: Morning Consult: Federal Maternal Health Plan Falls Short for Key Lawmakers, Advocates

Adams co-founded the Black Maternal Health Caucus in 2019 and co-led the introduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020 in March. Over 2,000 people, including Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and Rep. Lauren Underwood, participated in her Women’s Symposium on Black Maternal Health During COVID-19 (video).