Colorado Birth Equity Bill Package
Setting: Clinical Community
Population: Medical & Public Health Professionals Women & Maternal
Topic Area: Equity & Anti-Racism
Despite the fact that Americans pay more for their perinatal care than any other nation world-wide, we have some of the worst outcomes. This is true for all birthing people, but especially for birthing people of color, who consistently experience lower quality of care, higher rates of mistreatment and obstetric violence at the hands of their providers, and higher rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. To improve care, human rights must be protected. Even though Colorado ranks mid- to average- in safe birthing indicators, social determinants, like a significant racial wealth gap, are impacting Colorado’s families. The pandemic only worsened these inequities. The Birth Equity Bill Package aims to address these perinatal racial inequities through 2 bills and a sunset bill by: 1) Addressing Structural Inequalities in Perinatal Care, by Aligning Data and Systems for Equity 2) Protecting the Perinatal Period by addressing Maternity Care with a Human Rights approach 3) Supporting the integration of midwifery care through continuing the Direct-Entry Midwifery program. This bill package is a community-based response to our maternal health crisis. Although we drew on all of the forms of evidence above in creating this bill package, the key ingredient to its success was community leadership. It was the stories, vision and goals of people who have direct lived experience with giving birth in Colorado, and supporting Coloradan birthing people, that had the greatest impact on our proposal and the development of the three bills in this package.
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