Maternal Mortality Bill introduced in Kansas Senate

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 12:16 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Wichita area Democratic Senators have introduced a bill in the Kansas Senate to address maternal mortality.

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-29th Senate District) says she and Sen. Mary Ware, as well as Representatives Elizabeth Bishop and Gail Finney, introduces legislation on Wednesday that would address maternal mortality rates in the Federal and State Affairs Committees.

“We find it unacceptable that the decision to grow one’s family substantially increases a woman’s chance of dying in this country,” Finney said. “We need to empower our healthcare providers to make addressing the needs of pregnant and postpartum women a priority.”

“Last spring, reports found that Black Kansans have faced a higher risk of death from COVID-19 than Kansans of other races,” said Faust-Goudeau. “The same is true for Black mothers in Kansas. While I am hopeful that we will soon see the end of this pandemic, we must do more to confront medical racism in our state. This legislation is a good first step in addressing this dangerous health disparity.”

According to Faust-Goudeau, the legislation was made with Dr. Sharla Smith, an assistant professor in population health at the University of Kansas Medical Center, as well as former Representative Melody McCray-Miller of Wichita. She said if passed, the bill would establish a community review committee that would include stakeholders of color to review Black maternal death cases.

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