Boston, Mass. – Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s leading grassroots, political pro-choice advocacy organization, issued the following statement on the passage of H4818, An Act to Reduce Racial Inequities in Maternal Health, in the Massachusetts House of Representatives:
“Fighting for reproductive freedom includes fighting for the right to safely have children and raise a family. Far too many Black and Brown people face dire maternal health outcomes as a result of systemic racism in this country. Even in Massachusetts, a state with world class healthcare, a Black woman is twice as likely to die as a result of pregnancy-related causes than a white woman. This undermines reproductive freedom by denying Black and Brown people the ability to safely and sustainably raise a family.
“H4818 would create a commission to identify the causes of maternal health inequities in Massachusetts and issue policy recommendations to the State Legislature. NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts is committed to fighting for the policies recommended by the Commission and seeing them signed into law.
“Addressing the racial inequities in maternal health and providing policy recommendations to the legislature to fix this public health crisis must center the voices and experiences of those who matter most in this conversation, which is why we are so glad that H4818 explicitly requires that the commission be made up of a majority of Black and Brown members.
“We applaud the Massachusetts House of Representatives for passing this critically important bill. We’re especially grateful to Representative Liz Miranda, Representative Kay Khan, and Senator Becca Rausch for their leadership on this legislation, and to Speaker DeLeo for bringing it to the floor for a vote. We hope the Senate follows suit and passes this bill with similar urgency.”