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US: Include Maternal Health in Climate Change Action

US: Include Maternal Health in Climate Change Action

Pregnant People, Infants, Children Particularly Vulnerable

(Washington, DC) – The administration of United States President Joe Biden should take concrete action to ensure that the country’s maternal health crisis, dominated by racial inequities, is a central focus of US domestic climate policy, a coalition of 54 organizations said today in a letter to President Biden.

Government agencies should use Biden’s directives to include the risk to maternal health in their assessments of risks from the climate crisis and plan their policies and actions through a reproductive justice lens that centers on racial and economic disparities, the groups said. The organizations work in reproductive justice, maternal and child health, environmental justice, climate justice, and human rights.

“President Biden has encouraged many of us by including racial and environmental justice when talking about the climate crisis in the US,” said Kelly Davis, vice president of global birth equity and innovation for the National Birth Equity Collaborative. “But pregnancy creates additional vulnerability to heat and natural disasters, and low-income, Black, Indigenous, and other women of color are especially at risk. US climate policy should specifically address these needs.”

President Biden signed an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad in late January 2021, instructing US government agencies to reassess how to build resilience to the climate crisis and to calculate the financial and other costs of climate change to people and their communities.

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