Summers launches Maternal Health Caucus
State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) today launched the Maternal Health Caucus. The caucus is a call to action for members of the Indiana General Assembly to address one of Indiana’s leading health care epidemics, as the state has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the country.
“Hoosier women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth are dying at a rate higher than women in countries like Iraq and Vietnam,” said Summers.
“We’ve talked a lot about addressing maternal mortality in this building, but, if I’m being honest, we’ve seen little to no action regarding this issue.
“The Maternal Health Caucus gives legislators on both sides of the aisle the ability to bring awareness to the issue, collect the appropriate data to help legislators make informed policy decisions and provide much needed solutions to Hoosier women and families.”
The Maternal Health Caucus has an ambitious agenda to:
- Raise awareness.
- Help collect the data necessary to best research the issue.
- Establish a statewide Mortality Health Task Force that will specifically address both infant and maternal mortality issues that disproportionately impact black infants and women.
- Develop new legislation and laws that address patient safety protocols and cultural competency training for healthcare professions.
- Fund access to innovative services for women in minority communities.
- Identify best practices for healthy outcomes for mothers.
- Bring focused solutions to advance life-saving progress for mothers.
- Shine a spotlight on an issue that demands unique attention and change the outcome disparities in our state.
- Develop a statewide postpartum plan for mothers from birth through a year after birth.
- Mobilize all of the women, men and families who are concerned about this issue.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41 white women die per every 100,000 live births in Indiana, the number rises to 53 amongst black women living in the state.