Community discusses bill to help mother and infant mortality rates

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, with an average of 700...
The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, with an average of 700 women dying every year according to the CDC. A proposed bill hopes to protect women who are giving birth.(WKYT)
Updated: Jan. 5, 2020 at 10:25 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE) - The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, with an average of 700 women dying every year according to the CDC. A proposed bill hopes to protect women who are giving birth.

Some Kentucky lawmakers are working to spread the word of the high mortality rates in the state and throughout the country. It's called the proposed Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act, it's a pre-filed bill sponsored by Representatives Attica Scott and Rob Wiederstein.

Advocates say healthy moms lead to healthy babies, and sometimes the way to do that is through policy and change.

“The mortality rate in the United States rose 26 percent from 2010 to 2014,” Rep. Attica Scott said. “In a four year time period, it rose 26 percent. For me, that’s shameful.”

The American Civil Liberties Union supports the bill, which would give more support to mothers, especially those of color. Statistics show women of color are three times more likely to die from childbirth or other pregnancy related issues than white women. The pre-filed bill will address that issue among others facing women.

“It provides additional oversight for infant mortalities, it requires additional implicit bias training, and third, this is probably the biggest part of the bill, is it would expand Medicaid to be able to cover Doula services,” ACLU Advocacy Director Kate Miller said.

Kentucky lawmakers are getting ready to head back to Frankfort for the 2020 General Assembly which starts on Tuesday.

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