Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act Passes House of Representatives on Vote of 408-3

Legislation Heads to Senate for Final Approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2024)- Bipartisan legislation by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) has passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 408-3. The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act has the ability to immediately unleash existing Title V Block Grant funds to prevent stillbirth, an outcome happening to one in every 175 pregnancies in the U.S. Title V is the single largest funding mechanism to support maternal and child health issues in the United States. This bipartisan legislation would add stillbirth and stillbirth prevention to Title V — something that has been lacking since the introduction of Title V funding back in 1935.

In the 118th Congress, the Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act was introduced into the Senate on July 11, 2023, by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and passed the Senate without amendment by unanimous consent on Sept. 30, 2023. 

“The deafening silence of a baby born still echoes through hospitals across our country 65 times every single day. Stillbirth is a public health crisis, with more than 21,000 babies born still every year in the United States ― the annual number of deaths 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,” said Emily Price, Healthy Birth Day, Inc. CEO. “This legislation says we can end preventable stillbirths. Words cannot express our gratitude to Congresswomen Ashley Hinson and Alma Adams for their leadership on helping make stillbirth a maternal health tragedy of the past.”

The Impact of Stillbirth in the U.S.

Recent reports and data suggest that further reduction in the incidence of stillbirth is possible, highlighting that nearly 25% of stillbirths are potentially preventable. The number of stillbirths in the U.S. is higher than the number of babies that die during the first year of life and more than ten times the number of babies that die annually due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Data comparing the United States to other countries shows that our nation can and must do more to prevent stillbirth. In the last two decades, the stillbirth rate in the United States declined by a negligible 0.4 percent, and, in a report published by the World Health Organization comparing progress in improving stillbirth rates, the United States ranked 183 out of 195 countries.

Stillbirth Prevention Act Provides Clarity for States

The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act will provide both clarity and a vital call of action from Congress 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. 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. Congress was not asked for additional funding associated with this legislation. 

“The passage of the Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act in the U.S. House is a significant milestone, as it signals a turning point where stillbirth is no longer overlooked. Families like mine affected by stillbirth can now find solace in knowing their voices are heard,” said Tomeka Isaac, a North Carolina Count the Kicks Ambassador whose son Jace should be celebrating his sixth birthday on Wednesday [May 15]. 

Endorsing Organizations

The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act is endorsed by Healthy Birth Day, 1st Breath, Policy Center for Maternal Mental Health (formerly 2020 Mom), 2 Degrees Foundation, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), March of Dimes, Measure the Placenta, Mom Congress, PUSH for Empowered Pregnancy, “Reproductive and Placental Research Unit, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine”, Return to Zero: H.O.P.E., Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Every Mother Counts, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Start Healing Together, M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death), Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI), American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), What to Expect Project, Postpartum Support International, Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE) Foundation, National Education Association (NEA), Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH), Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance, SUDC Foundation, and RH Impact.

The Maternal and Child Health Stillbirth Prevention Act of 2024 will return to the U.S. Senate for final approval so that it can be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Full text of the Stillbirth Prevention Act is available at We encourage everyone to visit as an easy way to learn more about stillbirth prevention legislation in the 118th Congress. 

About Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

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/S. 2231) and a proud endorser of the SHINE for Autumn Act (H.R. 5012/S. 2657). 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 be more in tune with their bodies and their babies. Learn more at and