Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood Launch Black Maternal Health Caucus
Throughout history, there have been Congressional Candy Caucuses, a Bourbon Caucus, an Irish American Affairs Caucus, and others on topics, themes, and people so obscure you’re surprised such things and issues exist. But there has never been a Caucus dedicated specifically to the health and well-being of Black women. That changes come Tuesday. Congresswomen Alma Adams (D-NC) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL) will launch the Black Maternal Health Caucus in coordination with the Black Mammas Matter Alliance. Black women are nearly four times more likely than white women -- and more than twice as likely as women of other races -- to die from preventable, pregnancy-related complications. Through the Black Maternal Health Caucus, Adams and Underwood will work to raise awareness within Congress to establish Black maternal health as a national priority, and explore and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally-competent policies and best practices for health outcomes for Black mothers. This isn’t just a moral imperative for two Black women in Congress, this Caucus has electoral and economic consequences as well. As the president has again rattled his saber about repealing and replacing the ACA, and as the DOJ has implicated in the last week that another challenge to Obamacare might be on the horizon, a working Caucus that can produce expertise and white papers about how these changes specifically affect Black women will be crucial. Furthermore, 80% of Black women are the primary breadwinners in their families, which likely means whatever healthcare the family receives is through them as well. Expect to hear a lot more out of this Caucus and its new members in the coming months.