MADISON – Today, State Representative Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa), State Representative Shelia Stubbs (D-Madison), State Senator Kelda Roys (D-Madison), and State Senator LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) introduced the Pregnancy Protection Act, a bill that would put into state law that maternity and newborn care are essential health benefits and insurance plans must cover them as such. Rep. Vining released the following statement regarding this legislation:

“Every woman in Wisconsin deserves access to high quality and affordable maternal healthcare. This bill puts into state law that maternity and newborn care are essential health benefits, and individual and small group health insurance plans must cover them. We know we have significant work to do to improve maternal healthcare in Wisconsin, and this bill is one step in that direction. 

“In Wisconsin, maternal mortality rates are five times higher for Black women, compared to 2-3 times higher nationally. Two-thirds of maternal deaths occur 12 months after the baby is born. The United States is the only developed country where the maternal mortality rate has increased, doubling over the past two decades. In fact, it is considered more dangerous today for a woman in her 30’s to have a baby than it was for her mother. We are trending in the wrong direction, and we need to turn it around. 

“Maternity care coverage benefits both women and children in improving health outcomes. Prenatal and postnatal healthcare can identify and treat complications of pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, ectopic pregnancies, postpartum depression, infection, and other potentially life-threatening complications, for mother and child. Lack of healthcare coverage, or the potential of losing health coverage, could make this crucial healthcare inaccessible or unaffordable.

“I am proud to stand with the women and children in Wisconsin by introducing the Pregnancy Protection Act.”

Rep. Vining represents the 14th Assembly District, which includes parts of Brookfield, Wauwatosa, and Milwaukee. For more information, visit Rep. Vining’s website here

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