Maternal Mortality, Prematurity Collaborative, and Model Contraceptive Equity Bill
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Beyond the Beltway Bulletin is a monthly newsletter from Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Our goal is to make it easier for you to get the latest policy news and ideas when it comes to the positive steps that states are taking to increase information about and access to contraception. We hope this information will inspire and support you to take action in your state. 

We’d like to hear from you, so write to us with feedback or ideas. Your colleagues can sign-up here.


Maternal Mortality Review Committees

There has been renewed attention to maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs) from policymakers, as more seek to address the epidemic of rising maternal mortality ratesespecially the alarming racial disparities experienced by black mothers. Bills introduced in Colorado (HB 19 - 1122), Idaho (H 109), Nevada (AB 169), New York (SB 1819), Virginia (HB 2546), and Washington (SB 5424) would create or improve existing MMRCs. The Virginia bill has passed the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature. Whether your state is looking to create a MMRC or build the capacity of an existing MMRC to take action, Review to Action is a great resource.


State Spotlight  

Texas - HB 1879 would automatically enroll women aging out of either children’s Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program into the Healthy Texas Women Program. Likewise, women who become pregnant while in the Healthy Texas Women Program would automatically be enrolled in either Medicaid or the CHIP perinatal program, depending on their eligibility. The policy seeks to ensure a seamless transition for beneficiaries between programs and reduce gaps in access to care for family planning and pregnancy-related services.

New Jersey - NJ A 4934 would extend Medicaid coverage for postpartum women from 60-days after birth, which is the current benefit, to one year after birth. The bill would apply to women with income up to 194% of the federal poverty level. A California bill, CA AB 577, would do the same, but only for women diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition.


March of Dimes Prematurity Collaborative Policy Workgroup

The Prematurity Collaborative’s policy workgroup aims to achieve demonstrated improvements in health equity and preterm birth by developing and implementing messaging, policy, and practice strategies. This year the policy workgroup is advocating for three policies in the following states:

  • Texas - Medicaid coverage for 12-months postpartum

  • Kansas - Full Medicaid expansion; and

  • Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee - Funding/support for group prenatal care

For more information, and to get involved in these efforts in your state, please visit the Policy Workgroup page and see the 2019 Resource Guide.