Florida A & M University Law Review



Between 1990 and 2013 maternal mortality has nearly doubled in the United States as opposed to other countries.6 Per every 100,000 live births, there are 26.4 deaths in the United States. In fact, the United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world. Unfortunately, maternal mortality did not become a political issue until public figures, like Beyonc´e and Serena Williams, began speaking out about near-death experiences while giving birth. For example, T.V. phenomenon Judge Glenda Hatchett’s daughter-in-law, Kira Johnson, died due to pregnancy-related complications in 2016. Stories like Beyonc´e’s, Serena Williams, and Kira Johnson caused a public outcry. Consequently, two years after Kira Johnson’s death and a year after Serena William’s near-death experience, Congress passed H.R. 1318, The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (“H.R. 1318”). Congress’s intent in passing H.R. 1318 was to address the increase in maternal-related deaths by providing funding for state research. However, H.R. 1318 is insufficient as it provides no actual remedy for aggrieved families nor does it provide plaintiffs with standing to sue in the event a state fails to follow the protocols set place in the Act.