State Rep. Maureen Bauer files progressive health care initiatives

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) today announced she has filed three progressive health care initiatives.

 

House Bill 1245: Reasonable Pregnancy Accommodations.

Pregnancy and childbirth discrimination. Prohibits an employer from discriminating against a pregnant job applicant. Requires an employer to provide reasonable employment accommodation for a pregnant employee.

“No woman should face discrimination for becoming a mother,” Bauer said. “Too many women in Indiana have shared their personal stories of being discriminated against at the workplace, or of being denied reasonable accommodations during pregnancy such as a place to sit or additional bathroom breaks at work.

“These workplace protections could not be more critical as Hoosiers struggle with the economic and health impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a burden being placed on working mothers. All workers, including mothers, should be able to work to support themselves and their families while protecting their health. The Governor's commitment to this issue has been promising, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get reasonable pregnancy accommodations passed this session.”

 

House Bill 1350: Coverage for Doula Services.

Coverage for doula services. Requires a state employee health plan, a policy of accident and sickness insurance, and a health maintenance organization contract to provide coverage for services provided by a doula to an insured person before, during, and after childbirth. Requires a hospital to allow a doula to accompany a patient at the hospital, including attending a live birth, at the request of the patient.

“In Indiana, an average of 41.4 women die per 100,000 births, which is double the national average. Doulas have been proven to make measurable improvements to the health of a mother and child, especially among Black women who are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related problems. There are more than 30 counties across the State of Indiana that are without hospital or OB services. Doula care provides educational, emotional and physical support during all stages of pregnancy. By expanding coverage to private insurance, more mothers will have access to affordable quality healthcare, and there will be improved health outcomes for the mother and child.” 

 

House Bill 1430: Guaranteed Protections for Incarcerated Pregnant Women.

Protections for pregnant inmates. Provides that the department of correction, a county jail, a juvenile detention center, or a juvenile detention facility shall: (1) use the least restrictive restraints necessary on a pregnant inmate when the pregnant inmate is in the second or third trimester of pregnancy; or (2) no restraints on a pregnant inmate who is in labor, delivering a baby, recuperating from a delivery, or dealing with a medical emergency related to the pregnancy, with certain exceptions. Additionally provides that these facilities shall provide specific care, treatment, and education for pregnant inmates and inmates who have recently given birth. 

“At any given time, six to 10 percent of incarcerated women are pregnant, with the highest rates in local facilities,” Bauer said. “A society is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, and women in the criminal justice system are among the most vulnerable in society. It is essential that the state legislature mandates comprehensive health care reform for these women and babies.”

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