clearn.png
Wednesday October 20th, 2021 2:30AM

New California law aims to reduce deaths among Black moms

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Black women in California are more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than women of other races, prompting a wave of policy changes this year in the nation's most populous state that culminated on Monday with Gov. Gavin Newsom signing a new law aimed at reducing the disparity.

The law, among other things, creates a new committee within the Department of Public Health to review maternal deaths throughout the state by interviewing family members and doctors while exploring records and other reports.

The law is the the last piece of what's been nicknamed the “Momnibus” bill — a reference to the legislative term “omnibus” that generally means one bill that combines multiple pieces of legislation on a number of topics.

Most of the “Momnibus” changes this year happened in the state budget, which Newsom signed into law over the summer.

California now will give lower-income women health insurance for up to one year after pregnancy instead of for two months. The state's Medicaid program, a government-funded health insurance plan for the poor, will also now pay for doulas — trained professionals who support mothers before, during and after childbirth.

And the state is spending $35 million to help pay for programs that give low-income pregnant women monthly cash payments with no restrictions on how they can spend it.

“We've been nibbling at the edges, we've been focused on this issue for three years that I've had the privilege of being governor,” Newsom said Monday during a virtual bill-signing ceremony. “But this year I feel like we've done something that will break through.”

Advocates hope California's changes will help jumpstart a national movement. Illinois enacted similar changes earlier this year. A federal “Momnibus” bill is pending before Congress.

“We hope California today is an example for states across the nation to take up similar legislation because, literally, lives depend on it,” said Mashariki Kudumu, director of maternal and infant health initiatives for the March of Dimes, Greater Los Angeles.

Black women were six times more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than white women from 2014 to 2016 and had a higher rate of death than Black women nationally from 2014 to 2017, the most recent time frame for which data is available.

Nourbese Flint, executive director for the Black Women for Wellness Action Project, participated in the law signing ceremony along with her 7-week-old baby. She said California's policy changes this year “redefine what is possible for birthing people.”

“Although black women are magical, our magic is not enough. It shouldn't be asked to solve this crisis,” she said. “At the core of this bill signing here today, it tackles for hundreds of thousands of people both the freedom to have a child and an ability to raise your family.”

Newsom's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, joined Monday's bill-signing ceremony to talk about her experience giving birth to four children all by cesarean section, a major surgical procedure.

She said all mothers “deserve to feel safe and cared for, just like I did," but lamented the higher death rate among Black women and their children.

“These are preventable deaths, but these deaths and racial gaps in mortality rates didn't happen in a vacuum. They are the legacy, as we all know, of systemic racism and inequality,” she said. “We as a state have a moral imperative to root out these problems from the ground up.”

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Health - Women's health
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US resumes Afghan refugee flights after measles shots
Afghan refugees will soon be arriving in the U.S. after a massive campaign to vaccinate them against measles
4:43PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Arizona senator condemns activists pursuing her on campus
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says activists who confronted her outside an Arizona State university classroom and filmed her inside a restroom were not engaging in what she called a legitimate protest
4:38PM ( 21 minutes ago )
New California law aims to reduce deaths among Black moms
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law aimed at reducing the disparity of deaths among Black pregnant women
4:36PM ( 23 minutes ago )
U.S. News
New plant in Germany aims to cut flying's carbon footprint
German officials have unveiled what they say is the world’s first commercial plant for making synthetic kerosene as part of an effort to reduce the climate impact of flying
4:44PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Falcons fizzle with Patterson on sideline late in game
All the Atlanta Falcons needed was a first down or two to put away Washington, but coach Arthur Smith was left to lament with what might have been
4:35PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Billie Eilish becomes youngest star to headline Glastonbury
Nineteen-year-old pop singer Billie Eilish has broken numerous records in her short career
4:33PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Jordanian king's properties undercut father figure image
Newly leaked documents showing that Jordan's King Abdullah II quietly amassed luxury real estate properties risk hurting the longtime monarch at home and abroad
3:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
As ruling UK Conservatives meet, businesses clamor for help
British Treasury chief Rishi Sunak is promoising to deliver an economy based on “good work, better skills and higher wages.”
3:21PM ( 1 hour ago )
Biden tells GOP to 'get out of the way' on debt limit
President Joe Biden on Monday told Republican senators to “get out of the way” and let Democrats suspend the nation’s debt limit on their own
3:15PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Ex-US Rep. Todd Akin, sunk by ‘legitimate rape’ remark, dies
Former conservative Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri has died
12:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
Henrietta Lacks' estate sues company over use of her cells
The estate of Henrietta Lacks sued a biotechnology company on Monday, saying it's been selling her cervical cells without her knowledge or consent
11:55AM ( 5 hours ago )
Response time questioned in Southern California oil spill
Residents, business owners and environmentalists were questioning whether officials reacted quickly enough to contain one of the largest oil spills in recent California history
10:23AM ( 6 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Italy's center-left claim mayoral wins; populists slump
Italy's center-left forces, led by Democrats, are triumphing or clinching runoff slots in Milan and other big city mayoral elections, according to partial vote counts after two days of balloting
3:59PM ( 59 minutes ago )
Whitmer vetoes election bills, says they perpetuate lies
Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed several Republican-sponsored election bills
3:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
France, Spain press for changes as EU energy prices surge
France and Spain are pressing for changes to rules governing the European Union’s energy markets as prices for gas and electricity surge
3:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Japan's parliament elects former diplomat Kishida as new PM
Fumio Kishida has been elected Japan’s prime minister in a parliamentary vote and will be tasked with quickly tackling the pandemic and other challenges and leading a national election within weeks
6:16AM ( 10 hours ago )
Greece: Truck on parliament sidewalk checked for explosives
A 58-year-old Greek man has been arrested after he drove a pickup truck onto a sidewalk in front of the the country’s parliament building and reportedly threatened police
6:15AM ( 10 hours ago )
Can Democrats hold together? Biden's agenda depends on it
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likes to say the Democrats' diversity is its strength and unity is its power
12:37AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
EU regulator OKs Pfizer vaccine booster for 18 and older
The European Union’s drug regulator has given its backing to booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 and older
1:13PM ( 3 hours ago )
2 win medicine Nobel for ID'ing temperature, touch receptors
Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch
7:25AM ( 9 hours ago )
Nobel Prize honors discovery of temperature, touch receptors
The Nobel Prize in the field of physiology or medicine has been awarded to U.S.-based scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian
6:01AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Health
Justice department urges judge to halt Texas abortion law
A federal judge is deciding whether to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September and sent women racing hundreds of miles to get care outside the state
1:01AM ( 2 days ago )
Biden administration urges judge to block Texas abortion law
The Biden administration urged a federal judge to block the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which has banned most abortions in Texas since early September
10:04PM ( 2 days ago )
Congressional members share own abortion stories at hearing
Three Democratic members of Congress have offered deeply personal testimony about their own abortions as a congressional committee looks at how to respond to conservative states that are passing laws limiting abortion access
4:58PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Health - Women's health
US resumes Afghan refugee flights after measles shots
Afghan refugees will soon be arriving in the U.S. after a massive campaign to vaccinate them against measles
4:43PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Arizona senator condemns activists pursuing her on campus
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema says activists who confronted her outside an Arizona State university classroom and filmed her inside a restroom were not engaging in what she called a legitimate protest
4:38PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Trump faces deadline for questioning in defamation suit
A court has set a Dec. 23 deadline for former President Donald Trump to undergo questioning in a former “Apprentice” contestant’s defamation lawsuit over what he said in denying her sexual assault allegations
4:24PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Shots fired on Amtrak train in Arizona; 1 in custody
Police say one person is in custody after someone opened fire aboard an Amtrak train in Tucson, Arizona
4:17PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Ship's anchor among possible causes of California oil spill
Officials are looking into whether a ship’s anchor may have struck an oil pipeline on the ocean floor, causing a massive leak of crude into waters off Southern California
4:16PM ( 43 minutes ago )