Heard on the Hill

‘We have been scorned’: Democratic Women’s Caucus lays out agenda

U.S. maternal mortality rate is a top concern

Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley had a few choice words to share at a Tuesday event for the Democratic Women’s Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned — well, we have been scorned,” Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley said Tuesday, lending a little sass to  the Democratic Women’s Caucus news conference to roll out its policy agenda.

Formally launched this spring, the caucus laid out plans for the 116th Congress that focus on economic opportunity, safety and freedom from violence, equality, access to health care, supporting women in the military and veterans, and empowering women across the globe.

Of particular interest to the caucus is the U.S. maternal mortality rate. 

“The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed countries,” said Michigan Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a caucus co-chairwoman. “Deaths among women of color is fueling that growth.”

The caucus’s two vice chairwomen, Reps. Veronica Escobar of Texas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico, also made remarks, as did Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan.

“We cannot be what we do not see,” Stevens said, echoing the group’s desire to reflect the record number of women in Congress. “This composite we’ve reached in this United States Congress’ House of Representatives is certainly quite significant.”

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