The US House passed a resolution last week recognizing maternal health and child survival as fundamental to the well-being of families and societies, and to global development and prosperity. It requires a greater commitment to reducing maternal mortality both in the US and abroad. The resolution, H. Res. 1022, states that 536,000 women die every year during pregnancy and childbirth (the equivalent of one woman every minute) and that most of these deaths are preventable.
The passing followed a rally held last week in support of the resolution in Washington DC. Congresswomen Lois Capps (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, Hilda Solis (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) were joined at the press conference and rally by UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador Geri Halliwell, CARE Ambassador Christy Turlington and survivors of obstetric fistula.
“The passage of this resolution marks an important turning point in our effort to improve maternal health and reduce the hundreds of thousands of tragic and needless deaths each year… I’m proud that Congress is finally taking this issue seriously, due in no small part to having our first woman Speaker of the House, and I look forward to our work over the next few months and years to improve access to maternal health care, promote health education and increase our investments in effective family planning programs,” said Congresswoman Capps in a statement.