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ACR-120 Maternal Health Awareness Day.(2021-2022)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution
No. 120

Introduced by Assembly Member Bauer-Kahan

January 10, 2022

Relative to Maternal Health Awareness Day.


ACR 120, as introduced, Bauer-Kahan. Maternal Health Awareness Day.
This measure would proclaim January 23, 2022, as Maternal Health Awareness Day.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, The United States ranks highest among industrialized nations in maternal mortality; and
WHEREAS, Nationally, maternal mortality rates are rising, and significant and widening disparities persist with black pregnant people, who are three to four times more likely than white pregnant people to die during pregnancy and the postpartum period; and
WHEREAS, More than 700 pregnant people die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, and over half of these deaths are preventable; and
WHEREAS, While the national maternal mortality rate continues to rise, California has worked diligently and successfully to reverse the alarming trend; and
WHEREAS, The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), a multistakeholder organization committed to ending preventable morbidity, mortality, and racial disparities in California maternity care, was founded in 2006 at Stanford University School of Medicine, in coordination with the California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR) and the Public Health Institute, in response to rising maternal mortality and morbidity rates; and
WHEREAS, The CMQCC uses research, quality improvement toolkits, statewide outreach collaboratives, and its innovative Maternal Data Center to improve health outcomes for mothers and infants; and
WHEREAS, Since CMQCC’s inception, California has seen maternal mortality decline by 65 percent between 2006 to 2016, while the national maternal mortality rate continued to rise; and
WHEREAS, CA-PAMR reported that, from 1999 to 2016, inclusive, suicide rates among pregnant people of reproductive age (15–49 years of age) in California remained consistently lower and stable over time while national suicide rates were higher and have continued to rise; and
WHEREAS, A pregnant person’s mental health condition can also be a factor in maternal mortality. Recent efforts have been made to bring greater awareness to maternal mental health and to ensure more pregnant people are screened and treated for postpartum depression or psychosis and that many of those pregnant people remain covered by health insurance upon diagnosis; and
WHEREAS, Improved screening alone can reduce the severity of postpartum depression. Obstetric providers are implementing more aggressive screening techniques and making strides to further recognize and therefore treat maternal mental health conditions; and
WHEREAS, While California has set an example for the rest of the country and continues to lead in preventing maternal deaths, there is still more work to be done; and
WHEREAS, The State Department of Public Health must continue its surveillance to bring heightened awareness to maternal health; and
WHEREAS, California must maintain its efforts to maximize health prior to pregnancy, including, but not limited to, prevent smoking, improve fitness, reduce sexually transmitted diseases, and promote positive relationships; and
WHEREAS, California must continue to address the postpartum needs of pregnant people through such efforts as postpartum visits and interconception care, breastfeeding support, and screening for postpartum depression; and
WHEREAS, California should continue to promote positive birth outcomes for all pregnant people through such actions as maternity care quality improvement, home visiting for vulnerable pregnant people, and providing additional support for black pregnant people, and to further increase culturally and linguistically relevant public awareness about maternal mental health risk factors, signs, symptoms, treatment, and recovery; and
WHEREAS, California should maintain its efforts to improve the coordination of care between obstetrics and psychiatry regarding mental health treatment, as needed, and to continue advancements for improved screening for mental health conditions during and after pregnancy, as well as screening for substance use, adverse childhood experiences, medical diagnoses, including, infectious disease, and intimate partner violence; and
WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic has presented another challenge to pregnant people. Data have shown that COVID-19 infection puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications and even death; yet as of October 2021, only about 31 percent of pregnant people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the CDC; and
WHEREAS, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the two leading organizations representing specialists in obstetric care, recommend that all pregnant people be vaccinated against COVID-19, based on clinical evidence demonstrating the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. California must continue to encourage pregnant people to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature seeks to bring awareness to maternal health and continue its work to provide positive outcomes for both the mother and the infant; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims January 23, 2022, as Maternal Health Awareness Day, to draw attention to the efforts that have improved maternal health in California and to highlight the need for continued improvement of maternal health for all pregnant people; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.