Bill Text (PDF) | One-Pager (PDF)

Washington (May 15, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security and chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate, and Nuclear Safety, and Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) today reintroduced the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act, legislation to address climate change risks to pregnant and postpartum people and their infants.

The Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act—a pillar of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to end racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, led by Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Representative Underwood—would create a federal grant program to invest in community-based efforts to mitigate exposure to extreme heat, air pollution and other climate change risks that pose a threat to vulnerable pregnant and postpartum people and their infants. The legislation would also provide funding for health profession schools to ensure that the future health care workforce can adequately support maternal and infant health in light of increasing risks from climate change.

“Climate justice is a matter of reproductive justice,” said Senator Markey. “We must ensure families and health care providers have the resources and support they need to protect the health and wellbeing of all parents and babies across the country as they face extreme heat, air pollution and the worst of the climate crisis. I thank Representative Underwood for her continued partnership in our shared fight to equip health care providers with the latest information, tools and resources they need as the climate crisis and extreme weather disasters increasingly contribute to illness and deaths of pregnant people.”

“Climate change has a significant impact on reproductive justice and maternal health,” said Senator Booker. “As we strive to address the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, we must also invest in community-based programs and health professional schools, so we can mitigate the harmful impacts of climate change-related risks on vulnerable mothers and babies. I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bill that would ensure that health professionals and vulnerable mothers and families have the tools they need to navigate the climate crisis, so we can work towards a more just and resilient future for all.”

“The evidence is clear: extreme heat, air pollution, and other effects of climate change are endangering moms and babies, and we need to take action,” said Representative Underwood. “The Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act invests in community-based programs to help protect families from the health risks of climate change. I’m pleased to join Senator Markey in introducing this legislation, which is a critical part of the Momnibus, legislation I’m leading with Senator Booker and Representative Adams to solve our maternal health crisis. By passing the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act and the comprehensive Momnibus, we can save moms’ lives.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined Senators Markey and Booker as a cosponsor.  

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE. A copy of the one-pager can be found HERE.

Specifically, the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act would:

  1. Invest in community-based programs to identify and address climate change-related maternal and infant health risks, especially in communities of color;
  2. Provide funding to health professional schools to protect vulnerable mothers and babies from climate change risks;
  3. Establish a National Institutes of Health (NIH) consortium to advance research on climate change and birth; and
  4. Develop a comprehensive strategy to identify and designate climate change risk zones for vulnerable mothers and babies.

The legislation is endorsed by more than 100 organizations, including 1,000 Days, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American College of Nurse-Midwives, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Black Cardiologists, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Center for American Progress, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for Reproductive Rights, Community Catalyst, Every Mother Counts, Families USA, March for Moms, March of Dimes, Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, Mental Health America, Mom Congress, MomsRising, National Healthy Start Association, National Medical Association, National Rural Health Association, National Urban League, National Women’s Law Center, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Protect Our Care, Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, the National Women’s Health Network, and Trust for America’s Health.

For years, Senator Markey has championed efforts to advance climate and health justice to protect communities and their public health. In May, Senator Markey reintroduced the Community Mental Wellness and Resilience Act with Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would establish a first-of-its-kind $36 million pilot grant program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide funding to local community-based mental wellness and resilience programs. Last month, Senator Markey and Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) introduced the Green New Deal for Health to enable the U.S. health care system to respond to climate change by improving sustainability and supporting patients, providers, and communities. Also in April, Senator Markey applauded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for heeding his call to modernize the energy infrastructure of health care facilities by issuing a new waiver that will allow U.S. health care facilities to transition to safer, cheaper and more reliable clean energy infrastructure in the form of renewable-powered microgrids or independent electric grids.