Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced the Improving Global Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes while Maximizing Successes Act (Global MOMS Act) yesterday. The bill aims to reduce maternal mortality and promote maternal health worldwide by increasing access to education resources, family planning, post-partum care, and preventive healthcare. The bill would also require the Obama Administration’s Global Health Initiative to develop a strategy to both improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality. It has sixteen original cosponsors.
In a statement, Congresswoman Capps said, “Safe motherhood should be a basic right for all women. We have a moral obligation to make the right investments and ensure that all women, no matter where they live, have access to basic, life-saving care. The Global MOMS Act would create a comprehensive strategy that better coordinates our efforts on the ground in the countries where women need our help most. In the same way that the President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief aligned existing efforts to better coordinate HIV/AIDS prevention efforts already underway, my bill would coordinate existing efforts to combat maternal mortality.”
Ninety-nine percent of pregnancy-related deaths occur in the developing world and the vast majority of these fatalities are preventable. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5), launched 10 years ago, is to bring the maternal mortality rate down by 75 percent by 2015, compared to the numbers in 1980. Of all the goals, MDG 5 has made the least progress.