State Reps. Janine R. Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced the creation of Ohio’s first ever Black Maternal Health Caucus, a group of state lawmakers dedicated to improve black maternal health outcomes across the state.
“It is our responsibility as lawmakers to legislate opportunities that improve the lives of all women and families. If we’re serious about effectively addressing the dire rate of maternal and infant mortality in Ohio, we must focus our efforts where they’re needed most—in our black communities who see a real disparity in maternal health outcomes,” said Rep. Boyd. “This caucus is the first of its kind in Ohio, and we’re hopeful that by working together, we can save lives, improve health and strengthen communities across Ohio.”
Currently in Ohio, maternal mortality rates are two to three times greater for black women compared to their white counterparts.
“Better lives and brighter futures begin with healthy moms and babies, but right now in Ohio, we’re failing our black mothers,” said Rep. Howse. “The Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus is focused on expanding access to healthcare and opportunity and giving every Ohioan, regardless of background, a real shot at the American Dream.”
The announcement comes at the start of Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17, which promotes awareness and seeks to advance and improve black maternal health outcomes across the country.