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Bauer introduces legislation to boost maternal and infant care

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) today announced her intent to file legislation to improve state maternal and infant care. 

This announcement follows the Indiana Department of Health’s release of its 2021 Maternal Mortality Review Committee Annual Report. The report pointed to the importance of comprehensive and holistic healthcare coverage for pregnant women: Less than half (46.7%) of women who died from a pregnancy-associated death in 2019 accessed prenatal care starting in their first trimester.

Bauer’s legislation will include a parental bereavement leave bill that would ensure parents can take leave from work to mourn the death of a child, including infants lost to stillbirth and third-trimester miscarriages. Another bill would waive the five-year waiting period for Medicaid coverage for lawful permanent residents, and expand care for all pregnant immigrants and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage for her unborn child. This includes prenatal, delivery and 12-month postpartum care for pregnant individuals regardless of immigration status.

“We need to do a better job caring for our moms and kids at all levels in Indiana — new information from the Department of Health shows that 80% of reviewed pregnancy-associated deaths in 2019 were preventable,” said Bauer, who authored several progressive maternal healthcare bills last legislative session.

“From extending Medicaid coverage to immigrants and all mothers-to-be to guaranteeing that grieving parents have space to mourn and heal in the horrific event of a loss of a child, this legislation is a step toward building a state that strengthens families and encourages a safe future here in Indiana.”

The 2022 Legislative Session is currently set to begin on January 4, 2022.

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