Kiggans Supports Bill to Increase Access to Maternal Healthcare 

Jul 08, 2024
Healthcare
Press

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced her cosponsorship of H.R. 3768, the Midwives for MOMS Act, which aims to increase the number of trained midwives in the United States to help fill gaps in maternity care. Specifically, the legislation would designate grant funding for midwifery programs at nursing schools and other higher education institutions. 

“As a mom of four, I know midwives can play a significant role when it comes to keeping mothers and their babies healthy,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I am proud to cosponsor the Midwives for MOMS Act to help establish midwifery programs nationwide so that we can expand our nation’s maternal healthcare workforce, reduce maternity care costs for families, and improve health outcomes for mothers across the country and their children.”

BACKGROUND

This bill, which was originally introduced by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-02), establishes grants within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create or expand midwifery programs at institutions of higher education and nursing schools. The legislation authorizes $35 million total for these grants. In awarding this funding, HRSA must give special consideration to institutions that focus on increasing the number of midwife professionals from underrepresented groups and promote practicing in areas with limited access to professional health care.

According to the March of Dimes, more than five million women in the U.S. currently live in counties where hospitals do not offer obstetric care, birthing services or specialized providers. Additionally, the U.S. ranks behind almost all other developed countries in childbirth outcomes for both mothers and babies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700 women die each year because of pregnancy or delivery complications, and our infant mortality rates are higher than 33 other countries with similar wealth.

Read the full legislation here

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