LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some legislators are working to push a bill through the Kentucky House of Representatives that would improve maternal healthcare in the state.
Rep. Attica Scott spoke with a group in Lexington about the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act. It’s a pre-filed bill sponsored by Rep. Scott and Rep. Rob Wiederstein.
“I think it’s a shock to people. It’s tough for people to hear that maternal mortality is present in the United States,” said Dr. Elizabeth Case, an OB-GYN.
The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the developed world, with an average of 700 mothers dying from pregnancy-related complications every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rep. Scott referenced racial bias in the healthcare industry as part of the cause of the rising mortality rates. She said the bill is an effort to tackle that at the root.
“We have to address maternal health in Kentucky and really looking at black maternal health in the Commonwealth,” she said. “We want healthy moms and we want healthy babies. Sometimes the way that you do that is through policy and advocacy.”
If passed, the bill would create a maternal fatality review team, require healthcare providers undergo implied bias training, and provide funds for mothers to seek out qualified doulas to help throughout their pregnancies.