Black ExperienceHealth

Kamala Harris Bill Aims to Decrease Risk of Death Among Black Women During Labor

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and 13 other Democratic senators introduced legislation this week aimed at improving medical outcomes for Black mothers.

Harris’ bill regarding the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act would provide $30 million to fund two new grant programs: one to train obstetric doctors and nurses to avoid making race-based medical decisions, and the other to establish a new program in some states to improve prenatal care and reduce injuries and complications from pregnancy.

African-American mothers die at almost four times the rate of their White counterparts, and are much more likely to experience serious pregnancy complications.

“Health equity for Black women can only happen if we recognize and address persistent biases in our health system,” Harris said in a statement. “This bill is a step towards ensuring that all women have access to culturally competent, holistic care, and to address the implicit biases in our system.”

Harris, an attorney who has a history of working on women’s issues, has also defended women in sex trafficking cases.

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