CiC Supports “Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2015”

Advocacy, Childbirth, Choices, Midwifery, Policy, Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights

Choices in Childbirth strongly supports the “Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2015,” bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress on March 3, 2015 to identify and remedy shortages in maternity care providers. The bill (S. 628/ HR 1209) was introduced by Senators Mark Kirk(R-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX) and Lois Capps (D-CA).

The bill would ensure that communities experiencing shortages of maternity care providers could be identified, by including maternity care services among other health professional shortage designations that already exist, such as primary care, and dental and mental health services. The bill would establish a process to identify shortages of obstetricians and midwives, as well as areas experiencing shortages of birth centers and hospitals providing maternity care.

The Act would take an important step towards improving access to maternity care providers and facilities, a significant problem in many parts of the country, particularly in rural and inner-city areas.