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WHEREAS, nationwide, Black women are 2-3 times more likely to die during childbirth; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia set the goal of eliminating maternal mortality disparities between Black and white women by 2025; and
WHEREAS, the health and well-being of all Virginians is important to the prosperity and livelihood of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, maternal health care is a fundamental right and all mothers should receive high quality, affordable care and services; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia is joining dozens of global organizations who are fighting to end maternal mortality; and
WHEREAS, this week is recognized as Black Maternal Health Week, founded and led by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance; and
WHEREAS, this year’s theme is “Claiming our Power, Resilience, and Liberation”; and
WHEREAS, Black Maternal Health Week (#BMHW21) is first and foremost a week of education and advocacy; 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
WHEREAS, Black Maternal Health Week aims to 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 organizing on Black maternal health; and
WHEREAS, champions and community advocates of maternal healthcare will have an opportunity this week to address the disproportionate high rates of maternal mortality experienced by Black women in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, the maternal mortality rate for Black women in Virginia is more than two times as high than that of white women; and
WHEREAS, in 2019, I announced a goal to eliminate the racial disparity in the maternal mortality rate in Virginia by 2025; and
WHEREAS, by equipping mothers, families, healthcare providers, and community members with resources and information, the Commonwealth of Virginia can advance the health and well-being of Black women and families throughout the state;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 11-17, 2021, as BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.