Harris County Accelerates Maternal Health Advocacy with the Launch of the Maternal Health Bill of Rights
Health & Science

Harris County Accelerates Maternal Health Advocacy with the Launch of the Maternal Health Bill of Rights

April 17 2024

In a bid to upend the alarming statistics surrounding maternal and infant health, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has recently unveiled the Harris County Maternal Health Bill of Rights (MHBoR). This progressive initiative seeks to empower families through knowledge, creating an informed birthing population that understands and can confidently advocate for their rights.

The necessity of the MHBoR is underscored in the 2023 Maternal and Infant Health Report. Alarmingly, it reveals how the pregnancy-related death rate in Harris County not just surpasses the state of Texas' rate, but also the national averages. The pressing factors contributing to these disturbing figures range from preterm birth, low birthweight, and birth defects in infants to liver disorders, diabetes during pregnancy, and diseases of the circulatory system in birthing persons.

Most affected are African American birthing persons and infants, according to the report. However, experts believe that access to supportive healthcare and services that address social factors affecting health can prevent many of these maternal deaths.

In light of this, the MHBoR was conceived as a dynamic tool to raise awareness among birthing persons and their families, medical providers, and community partners. It targets to educate about the rights, vital information, strategies, and activities that can be leveraged before, during, and after pregnancy to secure the best birthing outcomes.

Furthermore, the MHBoR brings attention to the guidelines that healthcare partners need to be conscious of concerning the concerns and rights of birthing persons. This speaks to fostering an environment in which the patient-provider partnership is governed by understanding and respect.

Central to the MHBoR mission is the belief that every person involved in pregnancy and childbirth has the right to be informed and the means to exercise their rights irrespective of their economic or social background. As such, the initiative is a rallying call to everyone, to see that all birthing persons in Harris County receive the assistance, care, and respect that they rightfully need and deserve.

For a comprehensive look at the Harris County Maternal Health Bill of Rights, visit mhbor.harriscountytx.gov.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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