FRANKFORT, Ky. — The General Assembly is back in session and Kentucky Democrats have unveiled new bills they say will improve the health of mothers and infants.
The Kentucky House Democratic Women’s Caucus announced the Kentucky Maternal and Infant Health Project Tuesday.
“Here in Kentucky, the maternal mortality rate is more than double the national average," said Rep. Lisa Willner (D) of Louisville. "Pregnancy in Kentucky is too often a death sentence.”
The project includes 21 bills related to care for families, mental health, incarceration, access to care, and health equity.
“The infant mortality rate for Black Kentuckians is almost double the rate for white Kentuckians," said Rep. Attica Scott (D) of Louisville. "Black lives matter, not just in February.”
Supporters of the legislation say Medicaid should cover the cost of midwives and doulas and pregnant women should be qualified to get health insurance.
“So many mothers lose postpartum coverage before all their healthcare needs are addressed and many people go through all or part of pregnancy without coverage," said Rep. Patti Minter (D) of Bowling Green. "That’s not right. The bill that I’m going to file today, with the support of this coalition, will change that.”
A bill from Rep. Rachel Roberts (D) of Newport would ensure mothers who have experienced miscarriages or stillbirths have access to mental healthcare providers, she said.
Lawmakers also talked about legislation that would gather data on maternal and fetal health to improve pregnancy services during incarceration.