Marietta, Georgia — As the Care Economy Week of Action continues, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) highlighted the importance of maternal health care, investing in women and families, the urgent need to care for their health, and continued relief efforts in her visit to the Faith Center of Atlanta where she helped distribute items to satisfy basic family needs including diapers, hygiene products, and food. Photos from the event are available here.
While there, she touched upon provisions of the American Rescue Plan, legislation that will help combat the maternal health crisis and keep our families healthy, including providing one year of postpartum care to new mothers under Medicaid. The plan also provided $39 billion to help states lower child care costs for hardworking families, including over $1.5 billion in child care development funding and child care stabilization funding for Georgia. McBath is a founding member of the Black Maternal health Caucus and a lead sponsor of the Social Determinants for Moms Act.
The American Families Plan would invest $3 billion to improve maternal health, directly addressing the longstanding disparities in health that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States has the worst rate of maternal death in the developed world, and our home state of Georgia has the second worst rate of maternal death in the country. There is no reason that in the richest nation on earth, we cannot keep our mothers and our families healthy and whole,” McBath said. “As we continue to provide relief to American families, we must also continue to provide the research, support, and resources to protect mothers and infants during pregnancy and postpartum.”
McBath volunteered her time with Helping Mamas, an organization dedicated to providing baby and feminine hygiene products to women and families in the metro Atlanta area through local partnerships. During the visit, families received food, diapers, clothes, toys, and feminine hygiene products. Donation sites regularly receive donations of diapers and supplies for young children, but feminine hygiene products are less common. The efforts to provide free products to those who menstruate are yet another critical step in supporting our nation’s families.
“Our parents give so much to their children and their families, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. In order to help them care for their families, we must support their health, too,” McBath said. “By providing period products, baby clothes, and diapers, I believe we can support the families in our communities as they work to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe. I am grateful to Helping Mamas and the organizations in Georgia for supporting our mothers and families here at home while we continue our work in Congress to provide accessible, affordable care for women, infants, and families.”
Rep. McBath spoke with organizers and nonprofit leadership about the importance of caring for women and children during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2 million women left the workforce over the last year due to the challenges associated with the pandemic, and efforts to support women and families are a crucial component of the recovery efforts that will help our nation rebuild stronger.