BOSTON, Mass. – Rebecca Hart Holder, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s leading pro-choice, political advocacy organization, issued the following statement on the State Senate’s passage of An Act to Reduce Racial Disparities in Maternal Health:
“The passage of H4818 is an important step forward for the Commonwealth. Systemic racism is the root cause of the inequities that have made a Black woman twice as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as a white woman. The legislature listened to advocates, community leaders, and constituents who asked them to take meaningful action to combat maternal inequities faced by Black women.
“Reproductive freedom includes the freedom to choose to raise and parent a child. Far too many Bay State families are unable to fully exercise their reproductive freedom because of the high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity among Black communities. This is intolerable, and must change. The first step toward making that change possible is listening to the voices who matter most – those who have lost loved ones from pregnancy-related causes, those who have experienced maternal morbidity, medical professionals, public health researchers, and leaders in the Black and Brown communities. Governor Baker must sign this legislation into law without delay so that we can implement solutions proposed by impacted communities.
“On behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, I would like to recognize the leadership of lead sponsors Senator Becca Rausch, and Representatives Kay Khan and Liz Miranda for all they have done this session to get this bill passed. Their steadfast support for racial justice and reproductive freedom will benefit our Commonwealth for decades to come after this bill is signed into law. We would also like to thank Senate President Karen Spilka for bringing this legislation to a vote. They are public servants in every sense of the word.”