March of Dimes hailed U.S. Senate passage today of S. 3029, the PREEMIE Reauthorization Act of 2018, a bill to renew key laws aimed at preventing and treating preterm birth and its complications.
“Preterm birth continues to be an under-recognized and under-appreciated crisis in maternal and child health,” stated March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart. “Today, one in every 10 U.S. babies is born too soon, placing them at risk for a range of health consequences. Passage of the PREEMIE Act reaffirms the Senate’s commitment to ensuring that every pregnancy is healthy and every baby gets the best possible start in life.”
The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act renews a range of federal programs that support research, education and prevention efforts related to preterm birth. It would renew the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality and update its charge to include issues like maternal mortality and maternal immunization. S. 3029 would also create a new federal interagency committee to coordinate the many federal programs that impact preterm birth prevention either directly or indirectly. More information on the legislation is available here.
The PREEMIE Act is supported by a wide range of organizations committed to maternal and child health along with March of Dimes, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, and the Children’s Hospitals Association. A full list of organizations supporting the bill may be found here.
“March of Dimes is grateful to Senators Lamar Alexander and Michael Bennet for being steadfast champions of maternal and child health for many years,” Ms. Stewart added. “This important step forward would not have been possible without their tireless support.”
S. 3029 now proceeds to the House of Representatives. A companion bill, H.R. 6085, is sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and has bipartisan support.