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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Minnesota House Black Maternal Health Caucus Announce 2024 Legislative Priorities

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Saint Paul, MN- The Minnesota House Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC) today unveiled its 2024 legislative agenda, an inclusive package of bills designed to address the persistent inequities Black birthing people face and empower all families during the sacred journey of childbirth. 

“Bringing a child into the world is one of life’s most transformative experiences, and it’s essential that every family has the opportunity to do so safely and with dignity,” said Representative Esther Agbaje (DFL-Minneapolis), Chair of the BMHC. “Yet, Black birthing people continue to face unacceptable disparities in their healthcare, leading to disproportionately higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. Our 2024 agenda aims to dismantle these inequities and empower all Minnesota families.” 

The Minnesota House Black Maternal Health Caucus (BMHC) adds:  

“Supporting all birthing mothers, especially Black women who are systematically disadvantaged, is not just a legislative issue, it’s a moral imperative. This is a sacred time for families, and we must do everything in our power to ensure they have access to quality care, respectful treatment, and the information and resources they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and their babies. The BMHC is committed to working to pass these critical bills and invest in the health and well-being of all birthing people. Black mothers deserve the right to safe and respectful childbirth experiences, and the BMHC will continue to fight for policies to make that vision a reality.” 

Key Priorities: 

HF 53: Adding morbidity to maternal mortality studies: This bill expands data collection to include severe pregnancy complications, shedding light on the full scope of the maternal health crisis and informing more effective interventions. 

HF 819: Fibroid education and awareness campaign: This bill raises awareness about fibroids, a condition disproportionately affecting Black women and a significant contributor to pregnancy complications. 

HF 912: African American Family Preservation Act: This bill addresses the systemic issues that lead to disproportionate rates of children of color being removed from their homes. The bill focuses on resources and support so that parents and families can remain intact. 

HF 1324: Certified Midwife Licensing: This bill expands access to midwifery care, a proven model for improving birth outcomes and reducing disparities. 

HF XXXX: Doula and Midwife Pay Parity: This bill ensures fair compensation for doulas and midwives, promoting access to culturally competent and experienced birth workers. 

Attached: Minnesota House Black Maternal Health Caucus 2024 Legislative Priorities Graphic