Today, U.S. Representative Angie Craig (MN-02) led several of her colleagues in reintroducing the Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution, which seeks to create and improve access for Indigenous women to comprehensive and culturally competent maternal health care and family planning services. The resolution would continue to shed light on the maternal health crisis among Indigenous women in the United States and help to address the critical need to reduce the tragically high rates of mortality and morbidity among American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women.

Craig was joined in introducing the legislation by Representatives Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Kai Kahele (HI-02), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and Lauren Underwood (IL-14). Last Congress, the Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution was led by Representative Deb Haaland, who represented New Mexico's First Congressional District. Haaland now serves as the Secretary of Interior in the Biden Administration.

"In the United States, Native women face significantly higher rates of death or serious illness during childbirth, a heartbreaking statistic that the federal government must take urgent action to reverse," said Representative Craig. "It's absolutely critical that we continue to shed light on this crisis and enact policy solutions that will ensure every woman in America has access to high-quality maternal health care and family planning services in their own communities. I am proud to reintroduce this important legislation and to carry on Secretary Haaland's incredible work to improve the lives of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian women across this country."

"The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is, frankly, shameful -- and the outcomes of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian mothers are consistently worse than other groups. We must call attention to this crisis and work as the federal government to uphold our trust responsibility," said Representative Sharice Davids. "I've introduced legislation to address the maternal health crisis among Indigenous women and I'm proud to join Representative Craig and my colleagues to further that goal today."

"Addressing the maternal health crisis among Indigenous women deserves our attention and focus in Congress," said Representative Betty McCollum, Vice Chair of the Native American Caucus. "The federal government has unique trust and treaty responsibilities to provide high quality health care throughout Indian Country. For far too long, Native American women -- especially those of child-bearing age -- have been disproportionately impacted by the lack of these critical health care investments. Native American women experience higher rates of pregnancy-related complications like hypertension and diabetes and a greater risk of maternal mortality. Preventing these tragedies requires breaking down barriers to care and increasing access to culturally competent prenatal, delivery, and family planning services. I'm proud to join Rep. Craig in introducing the Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution to draw attention to this crisis."

"For far too long, the health care needs of tribal communities have been overlooked and underfunded by the federal government, enabling more disease, suffering, and an unacceptable lack of quality, specialized care, especially maternal care and basic women's health needs," said Representative Tom O'Halleran. "To that end, I am joining my colleagues today on this important legislative measure calling attention to the maternal health crisis among indigenous women in the United States. As the representative for Arizona's First Congressional District, in which 12 sovereign nations reside, I vow to continue my work to ensure that tribal families have access to high quality, affordable health care, especially maternal care."

"I am honored to join Congresswoman Craig to introduce this resolution recognizing and calling for action to address the Native American maternal mortality crisis," said Representative Lauren Underwood. "I'm proud that my Momnibus package includes specific investments to save the lives of Native American mothers and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get these bills passed and signed into law."

The Native Women's Maternal Health resolution is supported by MomsRising, the National Council of Urban Indian Health, the National Indian Health Board, the Prairie Island Indian Community and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

"The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) thanks Representative Craig for introducing this Resolution that highlights the maternal health crisis facing Indigenous women. American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women experience some of the highest rates of life-threatening maternal health complications in the nation. The lack of awareness of maternal health disparities in Indian Country continues to adversely impact access to necessary funding and health resources for comprehensive pre and postnatal care for all AI/AN women. The Resolution calls upon the federal government to uphold its Trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations by providing adequate health care, increasing funding, and prioritizing policies to remove barriers to culturally-appropriate maternal health care for AI/AN women."

"A critical component of the federal government's trust responsibility is the provision of health care services to Indigenous people. Indigenous women face heartbreakingly high mortality rates from pregnancy-related causes as a result of lack of access to adequate health care," said Johnny Johnson, President of the Prairie Island Tribal Council. "The Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution calls on the federal government to honor its trust responsibility and provide urgently needed funding increases to ensure Indigenous women have access to high quality and culturally competent care. We thank Representative Craig for her work on this vital issue."

"Decent health care services for all Native Americans is a core trust obligation of the United States, and especially, for Native women who are threatened by some of the worst mortality rates while pregnant," said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Secretary/Treasurer, Rebecca Crooks-Stratton. "Congress should quickly pass Representative Angie Craig's resolution, because it will help Native women gain access to the quality health care they need and deserve."

Specifically, the Native Women's Maternal Health resolution would:

Acknowledge the maternal health crisis that indigenous women disproportionately experience
Call for policy prioritization of maternal health, prenatal care and comprehensive family planning services for Native women
Call for appropriate funding increases for Native health care programs so indigenous women can access the services stated above
Recognize the shortcomings of the federal government to uphold the trust responsibility provide Native Americans with adequate health care services
Identify the disproportional IHS spending deficit for Native Americans of - $5,678 per patient compared to federal health care spending nationally