Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2022
This platform was created to encourage your members of Congress to support the Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2022. The bipartisan bill would add stillbirth and stillbirth prevention to Title V of the Social Security Act — something that has been lacking since the introduction of Title V funding back in 1935. Healthy Birth Day, Inc. the nonprofit organization that created the Count the Kicks stillbirth prevention campaign, helped initiate the legislation after discovering the omission of stillbirth from the most important piece of maternal health legislation in our country. Congresswomen Alma Adams (D-North Carolina) and Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) are leading the bill in their respective chambers. We are so grateful that they are passionate champions of this issue.
“For too long, stillbirth has been a silent crisis, but 23,500 babies are stillborn every year. According to a recent study, nearly 1 in 4 stillbirths are potentially preventable, and the United States is trailing other countries in making progress,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams, co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. “That is why I am proud to introduce the bipartisan and bicameral Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2022 with Senators Merkley and Cassidy, as well as Representative Hinson. All available data suggests we can make progress, so our bill helps reverse this shocking trend of stillbirths and maternal mortality in the United States. The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act will address this injustice so more babies experience a healthy birth and make it home with their families. These babies – and their mamas – can’t wait.”
The annual number of stillbirths far exceeds the number of deaths among children aged 0-14 years from preterm birth, SIDS, accidents, drownings, guns, fire, and flu combined. Racial disparities persist, with 1 out of every 96 Black pregnancies ending in stillbirth. Hispanic and Indigenous women are also at greater risk of losing their babies.
The legislation recognizes that stillbirth (defined as the loss of a baby at 20 weeks or greater during pregnancy), and the disparity in those impacted by stillbirth, requires further research, support, and prevention programming. It also calls for evidence-based programs and activities and outcome research to reduce the incidence of stillbirth including tracking and awareness of fetal movements, improvement of birth timing for pregnant people with risk factors, initiatives that encourage safe sleeping positions for pregnant people, screening and surveillance for fetal growth restriction, efforts to achieve smoking cessation amongst pregnant people, community-based programs that provide home visits or other types of support, and any other research or evidence-based programming to prevent stillbirths.
“This legislation is for the hundreds of thousands of expectant parents in this country who have lost a baby to stillbirth. It is a strong, bipartisan effort to acknowledge the silent crisis of stillbirth in this country and that we must do more to prevent preventable stillbirths through awareness and funding. We are deeply grateful to Congresswomen Adams and Hinson and Senators Cassidy and Merkley for championing this issue,” said Emily Price, Executive Director of Healthy Birth Day, Inc.
Thank you to the following organizations that have endorsed the bill: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Every Mother Counts, March of Dimes, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, Measure the Placenta, Mom Congress, Moms Rising Together, PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, Reproductive and Placental Research Unit-Yale School of Medicine, Return to Zero: HOPE, 1st Breath, 2020 Mom, and Star Legacy Foundation.
To read the full text of the Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2022 please click here.