On Wednesday, Representative Ashley Hinson (R-IA), alongside Congresswomen Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Senator Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), introduced two bipartisan bills to address the maternal mortality crisis and ensure expecting mothers and their infants have access to the care they need before, during, and after pregnancy. The BABIES Act seeks to improve the availability of high-quality maternal care by providing federal support for freestanding birth centers. The Midwives for MOMS Act would expand educational opportunities for midwives and nurse-midwives by establishing new grant options for midwifery education for students intending to practice in underserved areas.
“Expecting moms in rural Iowa often cannot access the care they need during pregnancy or for their infants after they are born. It’s heartbreaking that so many women haven’t been able to receive adequate maternal health services because they live in maternity care deserts. Both the bipartisan Midwives for MOMS Act and the BABIES Act will help address inadequate maternal and infant health care options to support healthy moms and babies.” -Congresswoman Ashley Hinson
Six Iowa counties (Worth, Buchanan, Jackson, Jones, Benton, Iowa) are “maternity care deserts,” meaning maternity health services are limited or absent. Those communities either entirely lack OB care or have significant barriers to care.