Washington, DC – The following is a statement from J. Martin Tucker, MD, President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):
“ACOG commends the House of Representatives for passing the Protecting Moms Who Served Act (HR 958). Passage of this legislation demonstrates Congress’ continued commitment to addressing our nation’s maternal mortality crisis, particularly among veterans. ACOG is proud to endorse it.
“As we work to end preventable maternal deaths, this important legislation will help address the paucity of data on maternal health outcomes among veterans. Specifically, the Protecting Moms Who Served Act would commission research to inform us of the scope of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity among veterans, with a particular focus on inequities in maternal health outcomes. This research will help clinicians to develop a more complete understanding of the unique risks facing veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma, and the impact on veterans’ health. Information about how the maternal mortality crisis is impacting those who have served is essential if we are to make progress in preventing adverse maternal health outcomes among our veterans.
“The Protecting Moms Who Served Act would also provide critical support for maternity care coordination programs to address the clinical and nonclinical perinatal needs of veterans, who currently receive prenatal and obstetric care through partnerships between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and community-based obstetric clinicians. This will ensure effective coordination between VA and non-VA facilities in the delivery of maternity care as well as improve access to community resources to address social determinants of health and programs that provide new mothers with critical perinatal support.
“Although we currently lack the comprehensive data that this legislation would provide, we do know that veterans have not been immune to the ongoing maternal mortality crisis. The Protecting Moms Who Served Act will give us the tools and information we need to eliminate preventable maternal deaths and improve maternal health outcomes among U.S. veterans, who have already given so much for our communities. We thank Rep. Lauren Underwood, who has championed this essential legislation, as well as Representatives Gus Bilirakis, Julia Brownley, and Brian Fitzpatrick, and we urge the Senate to pass the Protecting Moms Who Served Act swiftly.”