BOSTON — Last week, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed three bipartisan bills to increase birth options and safety for all pregnant and perinatal people in Massachusetts. One bill establishes a commission to study barriers to substance-use treatment for women in the perinatal period, another establishes a commission to address racial inequities in maternal healthcare in Massachusetts, and a third increases options for safe, professional birthing care in the Commonwealth by licensing midwifery.
“Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as white women, and most of these pregnancy-related deaths are preventable,” state Sen. Eric Lesser said. “Racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health have persisted for generations. The establishment of these two commissions and midwifery-licensing measures are critical steps for maternal and infant health, access to care, patient safety, and maternal equity.”