Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center

Zonta International is a global organization of individuals dedicated to empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy. The Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center is a tool for our members in the United States and other individuals who share our commitment to gender equality to take action to improve the lives of women and girls. With your help, we can make a difference. In addition to the actions below, click here to support our joint efforts with UNICEF USA to end child marriage in the United States.

Protect moms and babies from climate change-related risks
A 2020 study found that in the U.S., there was a significant association between increased exposure to air pollutants and heat and adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight and stillbirth.

Because of the effects of climate change, women are experiencing worsening cardiac disease, respiratory disease and mental health, as well as being exposed to an increasing number of infections. These adverse health effects are most consequential to at-risk populations, which include a high number of pregnant women and developing fetuses.

The Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act (S. 423 and H.R. 957) addresses climate change-related risks to pregnant and postpartum people and their infants.

The legislation would establish a grant program to invest in community-based programs to mitigate exposure to extreme heat, air pollution, extreme weather disasters, and other environmental threats related to the climate crisis that pose health risks to pregnant and postpartum patients. The legislation would also provide funding to health profession schools to prepare the future health care workforce to adequately address climate change-related risks for patients.

“Climate change is threatening pregnant people and children across the country, with poor and Black mothers and children paying the highest price,” said Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the bill’s sponsor. “Our legislation equips our health care workforce and families with the resources and tools they need to protect themselves against the risks of the climate crisis. Climate justice is racial and economic justice, and our mothers, babies, and communities need us to deliver on these basic rights.”

Part of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to end racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes, the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act has been endorsed by more than 120 organizations, including the American College of Nurse-Midwives, American Nurses Association, Black Women's Health Imperative, Community Catalyst and more.

The Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate in February. The Zonta USA Caucus is committed to building bipartisan support for the bill. Please help us by using our pre-drafted letters to urge your senators and representative to co-sponsor and support the Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act. If they have already sponsored or co-sponsored the bill, you can send a message of thanks.

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