Support Efforts to Prevent Child and Maternal Deaths

Urge your senator to support the Reach Every Mother and Child Act 

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced legislation to reduce the number of child and maternal deaths globally. Led by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE), the Reach Every Mother and Child Act (S. 1766) calls for key reforms to strengthen existing child and maternal programs administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Since 1990, mortality rates of mothers and children under the age of five have been cut by more than half. Progress has largely been achieved using simple solutions and proven, inexpensive interventions to address leading causes of death, including diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and complications during pregnancy and birth. Nonetheless, over 5 million children and 295,000 women die yearly from preventable causes, majority of which occur in low income countries.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act would require the U.S. government to establish and implement a five-year, whole-of-government strategy as a contribution towards the U.N. global Sustainable Development Goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths by 2030. It would also institute strong reporting requirements to enhance transparency and accountability of USAID child and maternal health programs. Furthermore, the bill directs USAID to increase access, use evidence-based health interventions, and utilize existing financial resources innovatively to achieve optimal results.

“The Christian Church is called to be an active participant in fashioning a just and effective health care system. Responding to those who were sick was integral to the life and ministry of Jesus and has been a central aspect of the Church's mission throughout its history,” reads the ELCA social statement, Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor (page 2). This priority is demonstrated by Lutheran and other church ministries which provide such healthcare services, but our government can do more to close the gap.Send an email customized with your experiences and values to your senators (below) urging them to support this legislation.

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