President Biden Signs The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024

This marks the first time in history that Congress has passed legislation to specifically address the stillbirth crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2024)- President Biden has signed the bipartisan Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024 (H.R. 4581). This law amends Title V of the Social Security Act to add stillbirth and stillbirth prevention, something that has been left off since it was written nearly 100 years ago. The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act provides both clarity and a vital call to action to state health departments across the nation that they can and should use a portion of the existing $2.6 billion of Title V Block Grant funding to prevent stillbirth.

The Title V Block Grant is the single largest funding mechanism to address maternal and child health issues in the United States, with services reaching more than 93% of pregnant women in 2022. Currently, fewer than 20 state health departments are using a portion of these existing funds to address stillbirth, leaving expectant parents in most U.S. states and territories more vulnerable to stillbirth. This clarification will support stillbirth prevention activities, thereby helping to save the lives of mothers and babies.

Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) led The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act in the Senate, where it passed on unanimous consent June 11. The House approved this bill on May 15 in a vote of 408-3, where it was led by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-North Carolina). 

“The successful passage of The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act means the voices of thousands of grieving mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents made a powerful difference for future families, and Congress and the President acted. This is a significant step in making stillbirth a maternal health tragedy of the past. Change is coming,” said Emily Price, the CEO of Healthy Birth Day, Inc., the nonprofit organization that championed the bill.

Stillbirth, which is defined as the loss of a pregnancy at 20 weeks or greater gestation, is a public health crisis in the U.S. that happens to more than 21,000 families every year. This means one in every 175 pregnancies in the U.S. ends in stillbirth. Racial disparities persist, and Black women are two times more likely to endure a stillbirth than their White counterparts. Recent reports and data suggest that further reduction in the incidence of stillbirth is possible, highlighting that at least 25% of stillbirths are potentially preventable. That reduction would translate into as many as 6,000 babies’ lives that could be saved every year when stillbirth prevention measures are in place. 

“This is a moonshot moment,” says Janet Petersen, co-founder of Healthy Birth Day, Inc. “Every expectant parent in the U.S. deserves their prenatal care to include evidence-based stillbirth prevention strategies like we have in Iowa. This bill will help make that possible.”

The annual number of stillbirths far exceeds the top five leading causes of deaths among children ages 0-14 years combined, including unintentional injuries, congenital anomalies, preterm birth, homicide, SIDS, and heart disease. Data from UNICEF comparing the United States to other countries shows that our nation can and must do more to prevent stillbirth. The 2023 report shows that in the last two decades, the U.S. stillbirth rate declined by a negligible 0.9% per year (2000-2021), putting our progress at 152nd out of 187 countries globally.

The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act is endorsed by 50 maternal health organizations, including March of Dimes, ACOG, AMCHP, AWHONN, and SMFM. Full text of the Stillbirth Prevention Act is available at Visit to learn more about stillbirth prevention legislation in the 118th Congress. 

Healthy Birth Day, Inc. Celebrates Passage of The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024 at White House Event

On Monday, July 8, 2024, stillbirth prevention advocates and members of the Healthy Birth Day, Inc. team were invited to participate in a panel discussion on the stillbirth crisis hosted by the Biden-Harris Administration at the White House complex. The event coincided with the passage of The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act. The panel discussion included Healthy Birth Day, Inc. CEO Emily Price, Count the Kicks Ambassador Tomkea Isaac and her husband Brandon, founders of Jace’s Journey, and Healthy Birth Day, Inc. Board Member Rose L. Horton.

Healthy Birth Day, Inc. Founders Celebrate Progress

The five founders of Healthy Birth Day, Inc. also traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the White House event in honor of their daughters. From left, Kate Safris, Jan Caruthers, Tiffan Yamen, Iowa Sen. Janet Petersen, and Kerry Biondi-Morlan stand outside the White House on Monday, July 8, 2024.

In the early 2000s these women came together after losing their daughters to stillbirth or infant death. They decided to channel their grief into stillbirth prevention efforts to keep other families from experiencing the tragedy of stillbirth. Their efforts created our nonprofit organization, Healthy Birth Day, Inc., and led to the launch of the Count the Kicks stillbirth prevention program in 2008. 

About Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

Healthy Birth Day, Inc. is the creator of the Count the Kicks stillbirth prevention program, which is credited with lowering the stillbirth rate in Iowa by more than 30% in the first 10 years (2008-2018). The free Count the Kicks app is a powerful stillbirth prevention tool to help expectant parents learn a simple method for fetal movement monitoring (kick counting). Healthy Birth Day, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of stillbirth through programming, advocacy, and research. They are the primary stakeholders of The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act (H.R. 4581) and a proud endorser of the SHINE for Autumn Act (H.R. 5012/S. 2657). Learn more at and