The United States is well behind other developed nations regarding its maternal health policies. Among member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States falls second to last regarding the number of maternal deaths — and this rate is only rising. The U.S. also faces persistent racial disparities in maternal mortality, with minority women experiencing significantly higher rates of maternal death than their white counterparts. On top of this, there is no guaranteed maternity leave in the U.S., which places a considerable financial burden on new mothers. Even with bipartisan calls for maternity leave following the 2016 election, there have been no serious efforts to enact new legislation.
This webinar, the second of a three-part series on health policy and the 2022 midterm elections, focused on maternal health issues and the policies that could make a difference. Panelists discussed the many challenges mothers face — including difficulties accessing adequate health care and providing support for their children. Policies regarding health care inequities, maternity leave, contraceptive access and childcare support were also considered, as well as the obstacles mothers confront when trying to mobilize for policy change.
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Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Bioethics & Health Humanities; Professor, Preventive Medicine and Population Health, University of Texas Medical Branch
Mary Love, APRN CNM NP-C
Clinical Director, Heart of Houston Birth & Wellness Center
The Honorable Toni Rose
Texas Representative, House District 110
McClain Sampson, Ph.D., MSSW
Associate Professor, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston
Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Political Science, Purdue University