People who give birth in Ohio and in the United States have worse outcomes compared to other developed nations. This is felt even more acutely by Black and brown people who give birth, for whom the maternal mortality rate is two to three, and in some cases three to four, times that of the maternal mortality rate for white people who give birth.
People who give birth in Ohio and in the United States have worse outcomes compared to other developed nations.
In the last few years, this disparity has received national attention with the creation of the Congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus (and a state level partner in Ohio, the Black Maternal Health Caucus within the Ohio legislature) and a dedicated effort from the executive branch led by Vice President Kamala Harris. In June 2022, the White House released a Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis.
Maternal health and the impact of Dobbs
The White House’s goals were announced the same week that the Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs decision that resulted in many states moving to restrict access to abortion. While there are certainly many opinions about this decision, the real impact that it has and will have on maternal health must not be ignored and every resource necessary must be dedicated to ensure people who give birth have access to quality, equitable prenatal, postnatal and inter-conception care and that families have the support they need to be healthy. The plan will address many of these issues, including elevating interventions that will address the disparities in outcomes for Black and brown people who give birth.
To start, we are highlighting the big picture goals laid out in the White House’s blueprint. Many aspects of these goals align with work being done in Ohio, by state agencies and importantly, community partners who are driving this work on the ground and tying it directly into the needs of the communities they serve. Community Solutions will continue to track and engage at the federal, state and local levels to do everything we can to advance maternal health and reduce health disparities.
White House Blueprint to Address the Maternal Health Crisis
- Increase access to and coverage of comprehensive high-quality maternal health services, including behavioral health services
- Ensure those giving birth are heard and are decisionmakers in accountable systems of care
- Advance data collection, standardization, transparency, research, and analysis
- Expand and diversify the perinatal workforce
- Strengthen economic and social supports for people before, during, and after pregnancy
To read the full blueprint and action plan, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Maternal-Health-Blueprint.pdf.