Urgent Advocacy and Unyielding Efforts: Amplifying Black Maternal Health in the Biden-Harris Era.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) As the maternal mortality rate in America continues to spike, Black Maternal Health Week is an urgent call to action. American women are dying at a higher rate from pregnancy-related causes than in any other developed nation, and Black women are three times more likely to die of complications than their white counterparts.

Urgent Advocacy and Unyielding Efforts: Amplifying Black Maternal Health in the Biden-Harris Era.

The CDC reports that 85% of US maternal deaths are preventable, and the deaths that do occur tend to reflect a systemic issue rather than a pathology on the part of Black women.

As a women’s health advocate and co-director of the documentary film Aftershock, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with thousands of women, families, health care practitioners, and general maternal health stakeholders. I’ve learned that with evidenced-based solutions focused on supporting women and listening to them, we can improve outcomes for Black mothers, which will ultimately improve birthing for all American families.

As the seventh annual Black Maternal Health Week comes to a close, let’s pay homage to the unparalleled work that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are doing to center the voices of Black women and the Black maternal mortality crisis.


Since taking office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have remained steadfast in their commitment to tackle this crisis head-on and have made it their priority to promote improved maternal outcomes for Black women. Never before has Black maternal health been at the forefront of an administration’s health care initiatives, proving how essential and historic it is to have a Black woman like Vice President Harris helping to lead the executive branch. Vice President Harris has been at the forefront of these unprecedented efforts, raising awareness about the maternal mortality crisis for decades and calling for increased safety standards and funding long even before she took office in the White House.

Vice President Harris launched the first-ever White House Maternal Health Day of Action in 2021 and introduced the administration’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, which lays out more than 50 actions that over a dozen federal agencies can take to improve maternal health.

The Biden-Harris administration also enabled states to provide a full year of postpartum coverage to new mothers on Medicaid and protected and built upon the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to cover pregnancy care, childbirth, and newborn care. They also launched the Maternal Mental Health Hotline, a confidential, 24-hour, toll-free line where new and expecting moms can connect with professional counselors.


Meanwhile, Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans have been hellbent on doing everything in their power to enact or repeal laws that worsen outcomes for Black mothers and Black lives. Trump has bragged about being the one responsible for overturning Roe, which led to a reproductive health crisis that is disproportionately hurting Black women and allowed cruel abortion bans across the country to go into effect.

There are few scares in life more terrifying than having a pregnancy-related emergency, and since Trump helped to overturn Roe68% of OBGYNs say they struggle significantly more when trying to save mothers’ lives.

While president, Trump sabotaged Medicaid expansion, which is significantly tied to a decrease in Black maternal mortality; gutted resources for clinics providing life-saving reproductive health care to Black communities; and tried to slash funding for Health and Human Services maternal and child health program — a move that would have completely eliminated funding for maternal depression screening and treatment.

300,000 Black Americans lost health insurance under Trump, and he was one vote away from repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has helped to reduce racial health care disparities nationwide.

There’s no question that a second Trump term would make Black maternal health care outcomes much worse. If re-elected, he would sign a national abortion ban — which his allies are pushing him to do with or without the help of Congress — gut Medicaid, and “terminate” the ACA — ripping away insurance coverage from over three million Black Americans. Think candidly about everything you know about Donald Trump. He never centered on combating the health disparities Black women face when he had the chance, and he wouldn’t if he gets another.

Black voters, particularly Black women, were a crucial part of the coalition that helped elect President Biden and Vice President Harris to the White House. We know that our voices and votes will once again be critical in helping them win a second term and build upon all of the progress they have made. Despite the tremendous pressure of working with one of the slimmest majorities in Congress, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have accomplished so much, including centering Black maternal equity at the forefront of their agenda.

For so long, Black women have constantly had to advocate for ourselves in every space we occupy, but with the Biden-Harris administration, we have champions in the highest office in the world fighting alongside us. The choice is clear this November: We must reelect President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Democrats to Congress so they can finish the job!

Written by Tonya Lewis Lee

Official website; https://twitter.com/tlewislee