WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined his colleague Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to introduce a bipartisan resolution recognizing November as Prematurity Awareness Month. Earlier this month, March of Dimes released the nation’s 2019 “Premature Birth Report Card,” which noted that the nation’s preterm birth rates stands at 10 percent, which is unacceptably high and is 49 percent higher for black women than the rate among all other women. The Senators’ resolution underscores the importance of efforts to reduce the impact of preterm births by improving maternal health and the care and treatment of infants born preterm.
“This report is an alarming reminder that we’ve got to do better when it comes to caring for pregnant women and newborns in our state,” said Brown. “It’s unacceptable that babies born in Ohio – and especially our Black babies – face such an uphill climb, and we need to come together to raise awareness and prevent premature birth and infant mortality. All children deserve a fair shot to lead full, healthy lives.”
“The U.S. is experiencing a maternal and infant health crisis, with nearly every measure of the health of pregnant women, new mothers, and infants going in the wrong direction. Our nation earned a ‘C’ grade on the March of Dimes Report Card given the troubling increase in premature births for the fourth year in a row. Further, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes that show Black women are 49 percent more likely to have a preterm baby,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of the March of Dimes. “March of Dimes applauds Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Johnny Isakson for again introducing a Senate resolution recognizing November as Prematurity Awareness Month and focusing attention on this urgent health crisis. Their leadership is essential to ensuring the United States recommits itself to pursing policies to support the one in 10 babies born too early and prevent future early births.”
According to the CDC, preterm birth is one of the five leading causes of infant death.
Read the full resolution here.
Read the March of Dimes state-by-state report cards here.