[Episcopal Public Policy Network] Representatives Dave Reichert (WA-8), Barbara Lee (CA-9), Michael McCaul (TX-10) and Betty McCollum (MN-4) have introduced the Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 (H.R.3701), a piece of legislation that will help to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths. This bi-partisan bill would improve upon current child and maternal health programs, ensuring the U.S. does its part to help countries to end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035. Earlier this summer, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate (S.1911).
Specifically, the legislation requires the President to:
- Implement a coordinated U.S. government strategy to end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths by 2035
- Set ambitious and tracked targets, and report on results annually
- Focus on the poorest and most vulnerable populations, recognizing the unique needs within different countries and communities
- Complement strong U.S. bilateral investments with innovative, public-private financing mechanisms
- Improve coordination among U.S. government agencies and relevant foreign governments, international organizations, and civil society
Improving child and maternal health is one of the priorities of The Episcopal Church as called for by the General Convention. With over 300,000 women dying every year from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, we need to do more to prevent such unnecessary deaths.