Chairwoman Maloney’s Remarks During Press Conference Held Ahead of Committee’s Black Maternal Health Hearing
Washington, D.C. (May 6, 2021)—Below are Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at today’s press conference ahead of today’s hearing on Birthing While Black: Addressing America's Black Maternal Health Crisis.
Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Committee on Oversight and Reform
Press Conference Remarks Ahead of Black Maternal Health Hearing
May 6, 2021
Good Morning! Thank you all very much for joining us today.
I am honored to be here with my colleagues, Congresswoman Kelly, Congresswoman Adams, Congresswoman Underwood, Congresswoman Pressley, and Congresswoman Bush, who have championed federal policies to dramatically improve the quality of health care for Black people.
I would also like to thank our esteemed guests Charles Johnson and Angela Aina for their courage, their tenacity, and personal testimonies on this important issue.
We are here today because too many Black people are dying from complications before, during and after they give birth, and we want it to stop.
These statistics are shocking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Black people are three times more likely to die during or after childbirth than white people. The CDC also estimates that 60% of these deaths are preventable.
It is crystal clear that America is failing Black people, but it does not have to be this way. First and foremost, we must acknowledge that our health care system was built on a legacy of systemic racism that still lives on in our system today. We must address bias in our health care system and structural barriers that prevent Black people from receiving the care that they need and deserve.
We must also collect more data about this problem and listen to Black people about their experiences. Right now, we do not have sufficient data to identify all the gaps in the care Black people receive before, during, and after childbirth. My colleagues and I plan to fix that.
I am honored that several of these leaders are with us today to discuss policies they have written and championed—and that Congress needs to implement—to protect the health and wellbeing of Black people and Black families.
I am honored to introduce my Co-Chair for today’s hearing, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who has consistently fought since she set foot in Congress to turn the tide on this crisis.