North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #12 – 19 April 2021

Black Maternal Health Week was observed in North Carolina with the introduction of Senate Bill 632,/House Bill 507, the North Carolina Momnibus Act, that targets the Black maternal health crisis in the state and addresses the gaps in reproductive health care during the pandemic.  The maternal death rate is especially high in North Carolina.  We rank 30th out of the 50 states.  Nationally Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white or Hispanic women.  The United States has the highest maternal death rate of all the Western democracies, and, most alarmingly, the rate has been rising. This summary talks about the state bill to address the Black maternal health crisis, and that followup legislation and appropriations will be required following data and research. Other major changes in health care will also be required, such as expanding Medicaid.