March 10, 2022

Cassidy, Merkley Introduce Bill to Prevent Stillborn Deaths

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today introduced the Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2022, which offers federal funding to support stillborn prevention services. Every year, 23,500 babies in the U.S. are stillborn, and studies show that nearly 1 and 4 stillbirths can be prevented. The bill would amend the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant of the Social Security Act to include grant funding for stillbirth prevention services.

“Every child in the womb is a life deserving of a future,” said Dr. Cassidy.“Increasing access to stillbirth prevention saves the lives of babies and mothers.”

“Stillbirth upends the lives of individuals and families from all demographics across the United States—increasing the risk of maternal mortality and morbidity, and negatively impacting parental mental health and family well-being,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “Nearly 1 in 4 stillbirths are potentially preventable, and it is disturbing that the rate of stillbirth is considerably higher in Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women. With the tremendous advances we’ve made in modern medicine, we should be doing everything we can to prevent Americans—regardless of zip code, income, or the color of their skin—from experiencing stillbirth. Yet recent reports and data clearly show that we are not living up to that promise in our nation, especially for those in marginalized communities. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Adams to advance this bill and make an urgent step forward for maternal and child health in America.”

Cassidy and Merkley are joined by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA-01) will introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.