California Governor Gavin Newsom is continuing the fight against racial bias in his state, this time by signing a bill that seeks to prevent deaths among Black women in childbirth.
On Monday, Newsom signed a new measure nicknamed the “Momnibus” bill. It will grant free health insurance for up to one year after pregnancy to low-income moms and provide trained doulas through the state’s Medicaid program. In addition, California has designated $35 million to fund programs that offer low-income expectant mothers monthly cash assistance.
The law was established in response to alarming statistics showing that from 2014 to 2016, Black women were six times more likely to die within the first year after giving birth than white women. Black women also had a higher death rate than Black women nationally from 2014 to 2017.
Mashariki Kudumu, the March of Dimes Greater Los Angeles’ head of maternal and infant health initiatives, hopes that the law will pave the way for similar legislation across the country.
Congress is considering a federal “Momnibus” bill.