Boston, Mass. — NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization, today released the following statement on H.1949, S.1334, also known as An Act to Reduce Racial Disparities in Maternal Health:
“NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is very pleased to see the Reduce Racial Disparities Act reported favorably out of committee. We applaud Chairs Comerford and Mahoney for their work on this critical legislation, as well as the lead sponsors, Senator Becca Rausch and Representatives Kay Khan and Liz Miranda.
“The rates of racial disparities in maternal mortality and maternal morbidity that persist in Massachusetts are cause for serious alarm and must be addressed. Maternal mortality and morbidity pose a complex set of issues, ones that force us to confront our most challenging social determinants of health. And while this issue is complex, our views on the matter are quite simple: a person’s zip code, income level, or race should not prevent them from safely giving birth.
“By creating a commission focused on studying the racial disparities in maternal death and making proposals to the legislature to combat this issue, this bill represents an important step in making Massachusetts a safer and more equitable place to raise a family. From the outset, it was of the utmost importance that this commission include representation from the communities that are disproportionately impacted by these disparities. The perspective from their lived experiences, knowledge of their communities, and leadership will be invaluable in solving this crisis.
“We again applaud the legislature for taking a thoughtful step in addressing a critically important issue within our society, and for working to promote equality, health, and justice. It is our sincere hope that this legislation will be enacted into law in the near future.”
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