The Black Maternal Health Federal Policy Collective, founded by Dr. Jamila Taylor in February 2021, leads the strategic advancement of Black maternal health through federal policy, from inception to implementation. The Collective is a go-to resource for policymakers, advocates, the press, and the public.

We aim to ensure that the voices and needs of Black mothers, femmes, and birthing people are heard and central to the policymaking process. The Collective works tirelessly to illuminate the critical issues at the heart of Black maternal health, fostering an environment of understanding, action, and change.
Our vision beyond policy change is that of a transformative shift in the societal and systemic structures that contribute to maternal health disparities. Through collaboration, advocacy, and relentless pursuit of justice, the Collective seeks to not only influence policies but also to inspire a culture that embraces and prioritizes the health and well-being of all mothers.

Our mission is to lead the strategic advancement of Black maternal health through federal policy, from inception to implementation.

We do this in the following ways:

Prioritize the lived experiences, needs, and the right to resources for our communities.
Inform, influence, and center Black maternal health priorities in federal policy development and decision-making.
Ensure accountability in policy implementation for Black birthing people.
Build intentional relationships with key stakeholders.
Leverage media to shift narratives on Black birthing people and parenthood.

Success over the Years

Since our inception in 2021, the Collective has been highly effective in carrying out our mission and has celebrated many wins. Some examples can be found below.

  • 2021:
    • February | Began engagement with the White House Gender Policy Council and Domestic Policy Council on policy opportunities to improve maternal health outcomes, which continued throughout the year and directly informed the White House Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis.
    • March | Led advocacy for states to extend Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum, which ultimately resulted in that coverage being included in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
  • 2022:
    • June | Published messaging guidance on the intersection of abortion access and Black maternal health.
    • August | Published an op-ed in Ms. Magazine about how overturning Roe v. Wade will exacerbate the Black maternal health crisis.
    • November | Hosted a virtual briefing, “Addressing an Urgent Crisis: Why Investment in Maternal Health is Needed Now More than Ever,” featuring a panel of Collective members.
  • 2023:
    • April | Hosted an in-person briefing on Capitol Hill, “The Time Is Now: Congressional Action to Address Black Maternal Health,” featuring a panel of Collective members.
    • May | Celebrated the reintroduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act in the 118th Congress.

We are an interdisciplinary collective of subject matter and policy experts who bring our unique lived experiences as Black women and femmes to our work. We are presidents, executives, and early- to mid-career professionals grounded in the reproductive justice, birth justice, and intersectionality frameworks.

The Collective’s Issue Area Priorities

Decriminalization of pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and parenthood.
Diversification of the perinatal workforce (including doulas, midwives, community health workers, and physicians) to improve racial and ethnic concordance.
Ensuring high-quality maternal health care for incarcerated pregnant people.
Expanding and ensuring equitable access to abortion care.
Increased funding for research on, and ensuring equitable access to, respectful diagnosis and treatment of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Investments in breast/chestfeeding and lactation support, including equitable insurance reimbursement and paid leave.
Nonpunitive support for pregnant, postpartum, and parenting people who use substances.
Passage and equitable implementation of Medicaid reimbursement for doula care.
Prioritization of mental health services and support for perinatal and parenting people.
Sustainable funding for community-based maternal health organizations.

Relevant Resources

To learn more or get connected with the Collective, please visit: https://tcf.org/black-maternal-health-federal-policy-collective/

Contact: Vina Smith-Ramakrishnan at [email protected]