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Legislation co-authored by Bauer addressing women’s health and safety headed to governor

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INDIANAPOLIS - State Rep. Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) today celebrated the final passage of three bills that address women’s health and safety.

“We know that pregnancy is a statistically more dangerous endeavor in Indiana than in other states, with Indiana ranking the third highest in the nation for maternal mortality,” Bauer said. “These actions taken by the Indiana General Assembly this legislative session will help protect mothers and moms-to-be, as well as victims of violent crime.” 

House Enrolled Act 1140, co-authored by Bauer, expands Indiana Medicaid coverage for pregnant women from 60 days after birth to one year after birth. This was made available to states through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, thanks to the work of Democrats in Congress. Indiana now joins 26 other states who offer this coverage to women.

“The work to extend Medicaid benefits to women up to one year after giving birth was overwhelmingly favorable among surveyed residents of House District 6, with results showing 75% in favor,” Bauer said. “The months following the delivery of a child are critical for the health and safety of mothers. This legislation ensures new mothers can get the care they need to recover postpartum.”

According to the 2021 Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee Report, a majority (56%) of pregnancy-associated deaths in Indiana occurred more than six weeks postpartum, and 80% of all pregnancy-associated deaths were preventable. 

House Enrolled Act 1292, co-authored by Bauer, adjusts compensation for victims of violent crime,  including victims of gun and domestic violence, through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. The bill expands the list of expenses eligible for compensation, and allows certain family members of victims to claim compensation, including a surviving spouse, a dependent child, or a legal dependent who witnessed a violent crime of a dependent or guardian resulting in bodily injury or death.

The bill incorporates language from 2021's House Bill 1566, authored by Bauer in the 2021 legislative session, with the intent of reducing trauma associated with violent crime in our community.

“One way to break the cycle of violence is to make every effort to assist the victim,” Bauer said. “The victim compensation fund covers funeral expenses, child care services and mental health counseling. HEA 1292 will also cover crime scene cleanup and the replacement of windows or door locks, ensuring that home remains a safe place.”

House Enrolled Act 1294, supported by Bauer, outlaws the shackling of pregnant inmates in Indiana’s correctional facilities. Bauer authored legislation last session to protect pregnant inmates and was pleased to see the anti-shackling language pass out of both chambers unanimously.

“The shackling of pregnant inmates is a practice that should have been outlawed decades ago,” Bauer said. “Restraining a pregnant inmate can cause harm to both the mother and the fetus. Should a medical emergency occur during birth, her medical team must be able to adjust and reposition the woman, which would be impossible if restrained.

“By passing this legislation, Indiana’s state and local correctional facilities are now aligned with a 2018 federal law banning the restraint of pregnant inmates during pregnancy, labor and postpartum recovery. The legislation is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

To learn more about victim of crime compensation, or to file a claim, visit www.in.gov/cji/victim-compensation

Click here for a high-resolution photo of Bauer.

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