TRENTON, NJ - On Monday, February 12, 2018, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) will convene statewide experts and academics, in Trenton, to fact-find and seek solutions to the high infant mortality rate disparity in New Jersey. Children of black women are more than three times as likely to die in the first year of life as those born to white women, no matter their mothers’ income level or educational attainment; that racial disparity in New Jersey is wider than almost everywhere else in the nation.

“The disparities in infant mortality are alarming and indicative of the overall health of New Jersey and need for immediate action,”said Watson Coleman. “There is no more vulnerable time in woman’s life than when she is pregnant and no more vulnerable time in a child’s life than their infancy. Protecting mothers and babies is a paramount function of government, but these disparities demonstrate that we have so much more work to do. We know that partisan attacks from Washington to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and cut critical funding for health care related research, if successful, will disproportionately impact Black women and families. This exacerbates this critical issue and lays the responsibility on states to employ strategies to ensure gaps in all healthcare disparities are shrinking. Alongside the men, women and organizations that specialize in this work, I hope to not only get to the root of this issue and move rapidly toward solutions.”

Watson Coleman will be joined by representatives from NJ Department of Human Services, Children’s Futures, Henry Austin Health Center, Rutgers University and other related organizations. The event is open to the public.