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Over $100 Million in Funding for Maternal Health Signed Into Law

See how the new “Momnibus” dollars will be used to address America’s maternal health crisis and help save the lives of mothers and children across the nation.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published April 5, 2024
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Help is on the way for thousands of moms-to-be and parents across America.

Over the past decade, the United States has grappled with a climbing maternal mortality rate that is higher than any other high-income country and a broken health system that sees Black women, regardless of income or education, three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.

To combat this crisis, groups like the Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC) and 4Kira4Moms, among many others, have tirelessly advocated for better maternal health legislation and funding. Today, their efforts have finally reaped big funds and big change. On April 3, President Biden signed the bipartisan 2024 Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations package (FY2024) into law with over $100 million in funding for maternal health priorities.

“Through a hard-fought budget process emerges good news for mothers—especially expectant Black mothers,” BMHC Co-Chair and legislation sponsor Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. said in press release. “Funding increases for vital research like the NIH IMPROVE Initiative will help reduce maternal mortality and by addressing the disparities that have made the childbirth more dangerous for so many women. Other critical maternal health projects Congresswoman Underwood and I have been fighting for through our work with the Black Maternal Health Caucus were preserved as well.”

The FY2024 appropriations package will fund essential maternal health actions, including but not limited to:

  • Research into the leading causes of maternal mortality, morbidity and disparities, and the identification of interventions that will save lives and promote maternal health equity
  • Support for community-based organizations that help moms in geographic areas with high rates of adverse maternal health outcomes
  • Safe Motherhood Programs that help to improve health outcomes during and after pregnancy
  • Midwife education and funding to address the national shortage of maternity care providers
  • Rural maternity and obstetrician training to improve rural maternity outcomes
  • Birth center expansions to address maternity care deserts
  • Substance use disorder treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum individuals
  • Screening and treatment for maternal depression and related disorders
  • Funding for the Maternal Mental Health Hotline

While these items are certainly a good start to providing moms-to-be and parents with the help they need, BMHC Co-Chair and legislation sponsor Lauren Underwood said there’s more work to be done. “As a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m pleased that we reached a bipartisan agreement to fund evidence-based programs to support moms across the country and to directly address the drivers of maternal mortality and morbidity,” Underwood said. “But our work is far from done. Moms across America are demanding a comprehensive solution, and they cannot afford to wait any longer. We must pass the Momnibus now.”

You can learn more about the Momnibus and how you can support legislation dedicated to helping moms at MarchofDimes.org.

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