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Congressman Don Young Stands Up for Alaska’s Mothers, Cosponsors Legislation to Expand Maternal Health Services, Address the Maternal Mortality Rate

Washington, D.C. Today, Alaska Congressman Don Young cosponsored H.R. 769, the Rural Maternal and Obstetric Modernization of Services Act, or Rural MOMS Act. This legislation helps identify existing maternal health disparities, invests in training and technology procurement to bolster maternal health, and takes action to address our nation’s maternal mortality rate. Currently, the United States is the only industrialized nation with an increasing maternal mortality rate. Rural communities face some of the highest levels of maternal mortality. According to a 2018 report by the March of Dimes, only 68% of Alaska’s live births are attended by a doctor, and only 26% are attended by a midwife.

“Alaska is the largest state in the nation, and is home to countless rural communities. Sadly, our country’s maternal mortality rate has increased, and too many families in rural areas – including Alaska Native villages – have experienced the loss of a mother during childbirth,” said Congressman Don Young. “We must take action to turn the tide in the fight against maternal mortality, and I am proud to cosponsor the Rural MOMS Act. This bill takes critical steps to ensure that Alaska’s rural moms can receive the same standard of health care as their urban counterparts. By incentivizing thorough and accurate data reporting, expanding access to telehealth services, and providing the training necessary for doctors to meet the unique needs of rural women, I sincerely believe we can secure a bright future for our nation’s mothers. One of the most tragic factors of this epidemic is that many of these deaths are preventable; this bill is urgently needed to understand the root causes of maternal mortality so that we can prevent these deaths from occurring.”

A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.

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