2018 – Legislation We Supported 

Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R.1318), and the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2017 (S.1112).

These bills support states in forming Maternal Mortality Review Committees. These committees investigate and track the cause of death, including suicide and ultimately work on quality measures to promote the health of mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period and eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes. Learn more here.

Birth & Maternal Health Resource Book

MomsRising has shared their new Birth & Maternal Health Resource Book addressing the issue of maternal death (death associated with pregnancy) and maternal mortality (physical or mental illness or disability related to pregnancy and childbirth), including racial disparities among African American women. The book provides data and stories by state and serves as a tool to champion policy change and solutions.

Paid Family Care Giving Leave (The Family Act H.R. 947/S. 337)

This legislation would entitle individuals 60 paid caregiving days per qualified encounter, including the birth or an adoption of a child. This benefit would also apply to those caring for a woman suffering from a maternal mental health disorder like a parent or spouse. This fact sheet outlines the Family Act, which would establish a federal program giving almost every worker up to 12 weeks of paid leave. Read more here. As of December 2018, this bill is not likely to pass and may be reintroduced in the next congress.

Improving Access to Maternity Care Act H.R. 315

This legislation requires the federal Health and Human Services Agency (HRSA) to collect data around maternity care shortage areas and publish a report. This effort is the first step in identifying maternity shortage areas so that efforts can be taken to place providers in these areas.

In December 2018, the president signed this legislation into law.

Maternal Mental Health State Grants

Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act was signed into law in 2016 as part of the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255). On March 22, 2018 the Omnibus agreement funded $5 million dollars for grants to states. Though this hurdle is an important one, maintaining $5 million in funding each year for five years will require continued annual advocacy.

$5,000,000 for the Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression program as authorized in section 10005 of the 21st Century Cures Act (Public Law 114-255). HRSA is directed to make grants to States to establish, improve, or maintain programs to train professionals to screen, assess, and treat for maternal depression in women who are pregnant or who have given birth within the preceding 12 months.

In September 2018, HRSA announced the 7 states who received funding.

2018 Other Efforts We Support

Reauthorization of Title V Block Grant Home Visiting (MIECVH) Funding

We support reauthorizing MIECVH funding (home visiting) in order to maintain and expand maternal mental health disorder detection and/or treatment in home visiting programs for pregnant and postpartum women. For more information about the Title V Block Grant click here. For more information about home visiting, click here.

In February 2018, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which includes a five-year reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.