Maternal & Infant Mortality

The health and well-being of women and children is widely accepted as a reflection of the overall health and well-being of a community. The fact that Indiana is among the 10 worst states in the  country for maternal and infant health is a continuing  embarrassment of our public policy failures.

  • Governor Holcomb set an admirable goal of Indiana being the best for infant and maternal health by 2024 instead of last. To this end, he supported increasing the cigarette tax, pregnancy accommodations in the workplace, and the development of a program called OB Navigation to connect mothers and families to home visits and vital resources during pregnancy. But my opponent has opposed cigarette tax increases. He also , joined his Republican colleagues in 2020 and chose not to vote on workplace accommodations for pregnant women, suggesting instead that the topic needed to be studied for its effect on business over the summer. Incredibly, the issue was never even chosen for a summer study topic.

  • I support the policy goals outlined by the Governor and the Democratic-led Maternal Health Caucus because I know that improving outcomes for mothers and infants requires addressing the system-wide inequities that lead to the disparities in birth outcomes for Black and Hispanic mothers and infants, and for all mothers with limited resources. Improving infant and maternal mortality rates requires a shift in thinking to prioritize women’s health before, during, and after pregnancy.

MY AGENDA FOR MATERNAL AND INFANT MORTALITY

  • SUPPORT the Indiana Maternal Health Caucus agenda.

  • CREATE AND FULLY FUND programs that connect mothers to resources, medical care, and doula care during pregnancy and for a year postpartum.

  • EXTEND POSTPARTUM MEDICAID from 60 days to 1 year after a delivery.

  • FUND AND SUPPORT Maternal Mortality Review and Fetal Infant Mortality Review Committees that identify the system and institutional factors and barriers contributing to poor birth outcomes.

  • PASS COMMONSENSE WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS for pregnant women in the workplace.

  • PROTECT AFFORDABLE CARE ACT provisions that ended the practice of charging women more for healthcare and allowed pregnancy or previous C-sections to be considered preexisting conditions.

  • EXPLORE OPTIONS FOR THE STATE and BUSINESSES to offer paid family leave and paid sick time for all employees.