Chairwoman Maloney, Committee Members, and Black Maternal Health Caucus Leaders Seek Three GAO Studies on America’s Black Maternal Health Crisis

May 6, 2021
Press Release

Washington D.C. (May 6, 2021)—At today’s Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on the Black maternal mortality and morbidity crisis, Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney announced that she joined her Committee colleagues and leaders of the Black Maternal Health Caucus to request that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct three new studies on the state of this public health crisis.


“Addressing our Black maternal mortality crisis will require a systemic shift in our approach to maternal health care—and targeted, data-driven policies,” Chairwoman Maloney said at today’s hearing.  “But right now, we simply don’t have the tools to collect the data we need to inform good policy.”


The requests were signed by Black Maternal Health Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Black Maternal Health Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D, Congresswoman Robin L. Kelly, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Congresswoman Cori Bush, and Congresswoman Gwen Moore.


Specifically, the Members are asking GAO for the following three reports:


  • The first will examine how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated America’s Black maternal health crisis, and how federal and state efforts to support the country’s recovery from the pandemic are impacting maternal health outcomes.


  • The second will analyze the state of our country’s perinatal workforce—including barriers to accessing care by midwives and the full spectrum of maternity care professionals.


  • The third will evaluate how America’s Black maternal health crisis disproportionately harms people who are incarcerated.


At today’s hearing, Dr. Jamila Taylor, Ph.D., Director of Health Care Reform and Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, testified that “we still have a fragmented system” to collect data on adverse Black maternal health outcomes.


Asked by Chairwoman Maloney how better data collection would reduce Black maternal mortality, Dr. Joia Adele Crear-Perry, M.D., FACOG, Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, about how better data collection would reduce Black maternal mortality, she testified, “We need to have data so that we don’t operate out of bias when we create policies, strategies, and investments.”


Click here to watch Chairwoman Maloney’s question line at today’s hearing.


Click here to read the first request to GAO.


Click here to read the second request to GAO.


Click here to read the third request to GAO.



117th Congress