R 199
2021 -- H 6243
Enacted 04/15/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Cassar, Shekarchi, Blazejewski, Ranglin-Vassell, Williams, Hull, Batista, McEntee, Felix, and Donovan

Date Introduced: April 15, 2021

     WHEREAS, This year marks the fourth annual Black Maternal Health Week which was
founded and is led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance. This year’s theme is “Claiming our
Power, Resilience, and Liberation”; and
     WHEREAS, The campaign is observed across the country in order to raise awareness for
Black maternal health by enhancing the dialogue, increasing community involvement, and
promoting solutions, policies, and research; and
     WHEREAS, National severe maternal morbidity (SMM) rates have nearly doubled over
the past decade, and the incidence of SMM was 166 percent higher for Black women than White
women from 2012 to 2015; and
     WHEREAS, Currently, very little research exists that examines the root causes of the
racial disparities in maternal health in the United States; and
     WHEREAS, In order to improve maternal health outcomes for Black women, systemic
change in maternal health care that ensures that the methods used to address implicit bias and
racism align with Black women’s needs, values, and preferences and address the ways in which
health care systems perpetuate inequality is essential; and
     WHEREAS, The Associate Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health stated,
“Understanding the variations in experiences across socioecological domains between White and
minority women in the United States is important in developing more effective policies and
programs to reduce racial disparities in MMM [maternal morbidity and mortality] and, ultimately,
save mothers”; now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
celebrates Black Maternal Health Week on April 11th - 17th, 2021, and urges all Rhode Islanders
to advocate for effective policies, and solutions to eliminate racism, bias, and inequities in
maternal care; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to the Black Mamas Matter Alliance.