Zeta Phi Beta Advocates For Black Maternal Health Act On Capitol Hill
Members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. are putting Black maternal health at the forefront of their activism. On Sept. 20, women organized an event on Capitol Hill to advocate for the passing of the “Momnibus Act,” championing the cause.
The “Momnibus Act” seeks to remedy the disparities in maternal health for Black women, as reported by Minority Reporter. The sorority hopes that persistent advocacy and engagement by women everywhere will bring the legislation to fruition, as Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Black women are losing their lives due to a lack of serious consideration from medical professionals,” expressed Dottery Butler Washington, the service organization’s international co-director of Social Action. “As Black women, we are reclaiming our agency, educating ourselves, and guiding doctors in understanding how to appropriately treat our conditions and bodies.”
This day of action, deemed “Zeta Day,” was especially important to the sorority, as it was not only its first in-person event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic but also its largest congregation of members in its history. Its values of global progress are being upheld through this service event for a social cause on behalf of Black women.
The maternal mortality rate for Black women within the United States is a growing epidemic, and one, given the country’s medical achievement, many feel should be prioritized and remedied. According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die during childbirth, despite most causes of childbirth deaths being preventable.
However, the “Momnibus Act” will be an official policy catered to directly resolving the root issues causing the mortality rate to increase and other disparities plaguing Black maternal health.
In a continuation of this effort of advocating for reproductive rights, the sorority joined members of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. in a panel titled “Politics, Policy and Reproductive Justice” at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference on Sept. 21. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. hopes to continue on this mission to advocate for social causes deserving of legislative and societal upliftment.