Butler, Booker And Reps. Gwen Moore, Alma Adams Commemorate Black Midwives

Washington, D.C. –  Yesterday, U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) along with House Representatives Gwen Moore (D-Wis.-4) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.-12), introduced a resolution that designates March 14th, 2024 as Black Midwives Day. This resolution honors the impactful work Black midwives have done to advance human rights and reproductive justice and encourages Congress to proactively work to mitigate racial disparities in maternal health outcomes.

“I am proud to co-lead the effort to recognize March 14 as Black Midwives Day,” said Senator Laphonza Butler. “This resolution seeks to honor the expert work Black midwives carry out every day to provide pregnant women the kind of culturally-sensitive care they deserve. As a mother to a nine-year-old, it is important and urgent to me that every woman has the support they need to raise healthy families—and that’s exactly what Black midwives achieve every single day.”  

“Investing in Black midwives is crucial for addressing the maternal health crisis, especially among Black Americans,” said Senator Cory Booker. “More than 2 million women of childbearing age currently live in maternity care deserts. Black midwives play a pivotal role in mitigating disparities in maternal health, improving pregnancy outcomes and addressing maternity care deserts. Recognizing Black Midwives Day reaffirms our commitment to grow and diversify the perinatal workforce and provide comprehensive and affordable maternal healthcare.”

“Black midwives are on the front lines of the maternal mortality crisis as they collaborate with healthcare providers, community organizations, and other reproductive health professionals to increase access to affordable, holistic, and culturally congruent care. Fully incorporating midwives into the maternity care system would help address existing health inequities, as well as the urgent crisis of maternity care deserts in the United States.

I am so thrilled to join Senators Cory Booker and Laphonza Butler, and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, Congresswoman Alma Adams, in introducing this resolution that will raise awareness on the significant impact that Black midwifery has made on maternal health outcomes in the United States.” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

“As a Black mother and grandmother, I understand deeply the difference that having an advocate during the birthing process can make for veteran and first-time mothers. Midwives provide that critical service and can help make the birthing process much smoother, less stressful, and, most importantly, much less deadly for Black Moms. We must continue to uplift this practice and encourage medical professionals to see the value of midwifery, particularly in assisting Moms of color. I am proud to stand in solidarity with our extraordinary Black Midwives by supporting this resolution to highlight the rich history of their craft and their invaluable contributions to the field of maternal health,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams, PhD.

“We are excited and honored to uplift Black midwifery as the gold standard of perinatal care. Black midwives are the original primary health care providers in the US, that cared for ppl of all races and backgrounds. In order to solve the Black maternal and infant health crisis, it is the responsibility of governments to invest in community based, holistic care, led by Black Midwives,” said Jamarah Amani, LM, Director and Co-founder of National Black Midwives Alliance.

“We applaud Representatives Moore and Adams and Senators Butler and Booker for recognizing National Black Midwives Day and honoring the invaluable contributions of Black midwives to maternal and infant health. We appreciate their commitment to acknowledging and uplifting the vital role Black midwives play in promoting well-being throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period, fostering community empowerment, and addressing healthcare disparities. Congress must continue to support and fund programs that create pathways to midwifery and work towards building a healthcare system that respects bodily autonomy and ensures that every birthing experience is met with compassion, dignity, and respect,” said Breana N. Lipscomb, MPH, Acting Team Lead, US Human Rights Senior Advisor, Maternal Health & Rights at Center for Reproductive Rights.

Read the full text of the resolution here.             



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