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April 11-17, 2021: Black Maternal Health Week

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan places a high priority on women's health issues - especially maternal health - and recognizes that all women deserve access to the highest quality health care before and during pregnancy, throughout the birth experience, and in the post-delivery period; and,


WHEREAS, the month of April is recognized in the United States as National Minority Health Month - a month-long initiative to advance health equity across the country on behalf of all racial and ethnic minorities, and this week is recognized as Black Maternal Health Week, which was founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance; and,


WHEREAS, the State of Michigan recognizes and cares about maternal health outcomes for Black women and supports initiatives that raise awareness for concerns such as the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality, particularly the high rates of maternal mortality among Black women, which span all levels of income and education, as well as socioeconomic status; and,


WHEREAS, this week of awareness, activism, and community building is intended to deepen the national conversation about Black maternal health in the United States; amplify community-driven policy, research, and care solutions; elevate the voices of Black mothers, women, families, and stakeholders; provide a national platform for efforts to address maternal health, birth, and reproductive justice; and enhance community efforts toward addressing Black maternal health; and,


WHEREAS, the pregnancy-related maternal mortality ratio for Black women in Michigan is 2.4 times higher than that of white women; and,


WHEREAS, Black Maternal Health Week will offer champions and community advocates of maternal health care an opportunity to address the disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality experienced by Black women in the State of Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, by addressing the root causes of disparities in Black maternal health outcomes through social justice, systems change, and equipping mothers, families, health care providers, and community members with resources and information, we can advance the health and well-being of Black women and families throughout the state; and,


WHEREAS, every mother and baby in Michigan should have the same opportunities to achieve optimal health and positive birth outcomes regardless of race, ethnicity, community of residence, insurance coverage, or hospital of delivery, and all Michiganders unite in their commitment to reduce the maternal mortality rates among Black women and to eliminate racial disparities in the health outcomes for Black women and babies;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim April 11-17, 2021 as Black Maternal Health Week in Michigan.