ICYMI: SENATOR MENENDEZ JOINED CONGRESSWOMAN BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN, REV. CHARLES BOYER, AND COMMUNITY LEADERS ON TOUR OF FUTURE SITE OF THE TRENTON MATERNAL HEALTH CENTER
TRENTON, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) joined with U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.-12), Reverend Charles Boyer of Mt. Zion AME Church, and other community leaders to tour the future site of the Trenton Maternal Health Center. The Trenton Maternal Health Center has received significant state funding with which they will renovate the space to accommodate birthing services, maternal health programs, and other community supports.
“With the Trenton Maternal Health Center, New Jersey will be one step closer to closing the significant and devastating racial gap that exists in our state’s maternal health outcomes. Resources and accessible services play an important role in addressing specific challenges patients face,” said Sen. Menendez. “It was an honor to listen and gain insights into what the communities needs to tackle this critical issue, and I look forward to continuing to fight alongside Senator Booker and Congresswoman Watson Coleman to improve maternal health outcomes.”
“New Jersey's infant and maternal mortality rate has long been a disgrace for our state. The mortality rates for Black mothers in New Jersey are especially shameful and are equivalent to that of many 3rd world countries Yet New Jersey has made great strides in focusing its energy and resources in its maternal and infant care under the leadership of First Lady Tammy Murphy with the support of our Governor and Legislature,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “The construction of the Mount Zion Project along with the upcoming Nurture NJ site will take Trenton out of the birthing desert and help make New Jersey the best place in the country to birth and raise a child, no matter one’s background.”
“The City of Trenton has lacked a safe space for Black women to give birth for many years. This birthing center spearheaded by my wife, Rosalee Boyer First Lady of Greater Mount Zion, is yet another example of how Black women, the Black Church, and Black institutions turn trauma into triumph,” said Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Founder and Executive Director of Salvation and Social Justice and Senior Pastor of Greater Mount Zion A.M.E. “I applaud Senator Menendez for his visit and his advocacy in Washington. We look forward to working with him and other federal representatives to support Black woman led birthing centers in New Jersey.”
The Senator participated in an open discussion with Rev. Boyer and staff at Salvation and Social Justice to listen to their plans and gather insights into how the federal government can assist their efforts to close the maternal health racial gap through federal legislation such as the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act and the Tech to Save Moms Act.
In July, Sens. Menendez and Cory Booker (both-D-N.J.) cosponsored the reintroduction of the Kira Johnson Act, legislation to provide funding to community-based organizations leading the charge to improve maternal health outcomes, especially for Black women. The legislation would create a 5-year, $50 million grant program at the Department of Health and Human Services to improve outcomes and reduce bias, racism, and discrimination in maternal care settings.
In May, Sen. Menendez reintroduced bipartisan legislation, the Tech to Save Moms Act to support the use of technology to help close the gap in maternal health care and address the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal mortality outcomes. The legislation invests in and promotes the integration and development of telehealth and other digital tools that can help reduce maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity. Earlier that month, Sen. Menendez joined Sen. Booker, U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.-14) and Alma Adams (D-N.C.-12) in reintroducing the bicameral Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, historic legislation to save the lives of pregnant women and mothers and address every driver of maternal mortality, morbidity, and disparities in the United States
For a photo gallery from the press conference, click HERE.
Find the original press release here.