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"No woman should die to become a mother"

May 16, 2000

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) joined U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher and other Members of Congress and the Senate to emphasize the need for legislation to prevent serious health problems that occur during pregnancy. This troubling new data was released by the Centers for Disease Control. "In Georgia, the rate of mortality for African American women was over ten times that of the lowest rate in the nation," stated McKinney.

Congresswoman McKinney is an original co-sponsor of the "Safe Motherhood Monitoring and Prevention Research Act (HR 2316). "The disparity between black and white women represents the largest racial disparity in all public health issues and we need to find out why, and in order to do that we need to get more data and improve standards of care," McKinney continued. Maternal mortality hasnít declined in the United States since 1982.

Many women fail to get early prenatal care, resulting in complications that can lead to serious health problems or even death later in the pregnancy. "The message is getting through, we have to keep repeating it so everyone can know that health disparities exist and they must be eliminated. Can you imagine, the natural act of getting pregnant but dying to have that baby," concluded McKinney.

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