Legislative Attention on Midwifery and Doulas in the 117th Congress

For decades there has been discussion of the over-medicalization of childbirth and end of life care. As a result, health care costs have risen, and the sacred time of transitions involving birth and death has been disrupted. Whether from a cost perspective, a need to increase the number of perinatal team members, or an increased market demand for honoring the sacredness of childbirth, the decades of work advocating for less medicalization of childbirth by the integrative health professions is paying off in 2021.

 

There are currently 60 bills introduced in the United States House and Senate in which midwives and/or doulas are either mentioned or the direct focus of the legislation. Within the bills are requested coverage for direct education for midwives through grants to the schools to expand the number of midwives available; instructions to ensure the same level of reimbursements for nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives in Medicaid as in part B of Medicare; the utilization of doulas after a pregnancy loss; a research proposal that will study ways to diversify the perinatal workforce and advance respectful maternal care delivery models. (An overview follows this article, and bills are available for a more detailed review at https://congress.gov.)

 

The 117th Congress has 16 more months in which to move these bills through the legislative process into public law. If this is an important advocacy step for you or your organization, please write or call your legislators and ask them to sign on in support of the bill. Additionally, ask your organization to issue a public endorsement of the bill, using social media to share that endorsement with the bill’s sponsors.  If you are an individual, please issue your own public endorsement of the bill(s) you support. Please also share any bill indorsements with IHPC via at communications@ihpc.org and share on our Facebook page.

 

Legislation Number Title Sponsor Date of Introduction Number of Cosponsors
S.Res. 14 A resolution designating January 23, 2021, as “Maternal Health Awareness Day”. Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 1/22/2021 1
H.R. 769 Rural MOMS Act Rep. Newhouse, Dan [R-WA-4] 2/3/2021 13
H.R. 951 Maternal Vaccination Act Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7] 2/8/2021 51
H.R. 950 IMPACT to Save Moms Act Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9] 2/8/2021 35
S. 287 A bill to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue guidance to States to educate providers, managed care entities, and other insurers about the value and process of delivering respectful maternal health care through diverse and multidisciplinary care provider models, and for other purposes. Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] 2/8/2021 1
H.R. 945 To direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue guidance to States to educate providers, managed care entities, and other insurers about the value and process of delivering respectful maternal health care through diverse and multidisciplinary care provider models, and for other purposes. Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4] 2/8/2021 35
H.R. 948 Justice for Incarcerated Moms Act of 2021 Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7] 2/8/2021 34
H.R. 943 Social Determinants for Moms Act Rep. McBath, Lucy [D-GA-6] 2/8/2021 36
H.R. 925 Data to Save Moms Act Rep. Davids, Sharice [D-KS-3] 2/8/2021 39
H.R. 959 Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 Rep. Underwood, Lauren [D-IL-14] 2/8/2021 160
H.R. 909 Moms Matter Act Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large] 2/8/2021 47
H.R. 957 Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act Rep. Underwood, Lauren [D-IL-14] 2/8/2021 35
H.R. 1025 Kids’ Access to Primary Care Act of 2021 Rep. Schrier, Kim [D-WA-8] 2/11/2021 17
S. 345 Maternal Vaccinations Act Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA] 2/22/2021 0
S. 347 Data to Save Moms Act Sen. Smith, Tina  [D-MN] 2/22/2021 5
S. 346 Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 2/22/2021 29
H.R. 1212 Kira Johnson Act Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12] 2/23/2021 35
S. 411 MOMMIES Act Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL] 2/24/2021 9
S. 423 Protecting Moms and Babies Against Climate Change Act Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA] 2/24/2021 4
S. 408 Supporting Best Practices for Healthy Moms Act Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA] 2/24/2021 6
S. 484 Moms Matter Act Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 2/25/2021 3
H.R. 1350 Supporting Best Practices for Healthy Moms Act Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2] 2/25/2021 2
S. 560 Oral Health for Moms Act Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] 3/3/2021 2
H.R. 1620 Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021 Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18] 3/8/2021 186
S. 851 Social Determinants for Moms Act Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 3/18/2021 0
S. 826 Medicare Patient Empowerment Act of 2021 Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY] 3/18/2021 1
S. 893 Tech to Save Moms Act Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] 3/23/2021 1
H.R. 2145 SASCA  – Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act Rep. Jayapal, Pramila [D-WA-7] 3/23/2021 1
S. 926 SASCA – Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] 3/23/2021 20
S.Res. 153 A resolution recognizing the week of April 11 through April 17, 2021, as “Black Maternal Health Week” to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women and birthing persons. Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 4/13/2021 22
H.Res. 304 Recognizing the designation of the week of April 11 through April 17, 2021, as “Black Maternal Health Week” to bring national attention to the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing maternal mortality and morbidity among Black women and birthing persons. Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12] 4/13/2021 92
H.R. 2521 DOULA for VA Act of 2021 Rep. Lawrence, Brenda L. [D-MI-14] 4/14/2021 5
H.R. 2598 COVID-19 Safe Birthing Act Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7] 4/15/2021 7
H.R. 2556 Maternal CARE Act Rep. Adams, Alma S. [D-NC-12] 4/15/2021 0
H.R. 2701 Opportunities to Support Mothers and Deliver Children Act Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4] 4/20/2021 0
S. 1234 Maternal CARE Act Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 4/20/2021 0
S. 1491 Rural MOMS Act Sen. Smith, Tina  [D-MN] 4/29/2021 8
H.R. 3063 MOMMIES Act Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7] 5/7/2021 28
S. 1542 MOMMIES Act Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 5/10/2021 7
S.Res. 209 A resolution recognizing the work and contributions of doulas towards improving pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes. Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL] 5/12/2021 1
H.Res. 395 Recognizing the work and contributions of doulas towards improving pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes. Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4] 5/13/2021 0
S. 1622 HEALTH for MOM Act of 2021 Sen. Portman, Rob [R-OH] 5/13/2021 1
H.R. 3322 Medicare Patient Empowerment Act of 2021 Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-17] 5/18/2021 0
H.R. 3337 BABIES Act Rep. Clark, Katherine M. [D-MA-5] 5/19/2021 3
S. 1716 BABIES Act Sen. Lujan, Ben Ray [D-NM] 5/19/2021 0
H.R. 3407 MOMMIES Act Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2] 5/20/2021 36
S.Res. 229 A resolution recognizing the devastating attack on a girls’ school in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 8, 2021, and expressing solidarity with the Afghan people. Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH] 5/24/2021 19
H.R. 3550 Primary and Behavioral Health Care Access Act of 2021 Rep. Underwood, Lauren [D-IL-14] 5/25/2021 2
H.R. 3505 To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a refundable tax credit against income tax for certain healthcare professionals. Rep. Higgins, Brian [D-NY-26] 5/25/2021 0
S. 1833 Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women & Children Act Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] 5/26/2021 9
S. 1937 DOULA for VA Act of 2021 Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 5/27/2021 0
S. 1977 Improving Coverage and Care for Mothers Act Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA] 6/8/2021 0
S. 1975 Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 6/8/2021 47
H.R. 3755 Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 Rep. Chu, Judy [D-CA-27] 6/8/2021 188
S. 2114 SAVE Act Sen. Kelly, Mark [D-AZ] 6/17/2021 1
H.R. 4449 Pathways to Health Careers Act Rep. Davis, Danny K. [D-IL-7] 7/16/2021 25
H.Res. 539 Recognizing the maternal health crisis in the United States and the importance of reducing mortality and morbidity among all women, and honoring mothers. Rep. McEachin, A. Donald [D-VA-4] 7/19/2021 5
H.R. 4576 Support Through Loss Act Rep. Pressley, Ayanna [D-MA-7] 7/20/2021 12
S. 2390 Support Through Loss Act Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL] 7/20/2021 4
H.Res. 545 Supporting the ideals of Bump Day, a global advocacy day for maternal health, and reaffirming United States leadership to end preventable maternal deaths in the United States and globally. Rep. Houlahan, Chrissy [D-PA-6] 7/21/2021 3