LANSING—, state Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) introduced House Resolution 301 to designate April 11-17, 2018, as Black Maternal Health Week in the state of Michigan it passed. In addition, Rep. Geiss issued the following statement:


“When a black mother is two to three times more likely to die from preeclampsia, eclampsia, abruptio placentae, placenta previa, and postpartum hemorrhage than a white mother, we have a problem. According to the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Project, from 1991 to 2010 black women had a mortality rate of 50.8 per 100,000 live births, while the mortality rate for white women was 34.2 points lower at 16.6 per 100,000 live births. Today, Michigan is ranked 8th in the nation for high rates of maternal death generally, but 3rd in the nation for a high rate of black maternal death.


“I introduced this resolution because we have to do more to protect the mothers of our state and improve the cultural competency of health care professionals and our communities. Women’s health is a critical issue, and maternal death rates are one of the widest racial disparities in this area. There has obviously been a break down in access to healthcare, or medical diagnosis and by bringing awareness to this issue, I am hopeful that we can find some solutions. Whether or not a mother survives giving birth should not depend on the color of her skin.”