Sen. Dodd Introduces Maternity Health Bill
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Dodd, D-Napa announced legislation today that clarifies existing law to ensure nurse-midwives are able to continue to provide essential healthcare services before and after pregnancy, enhancing mother and child well-being, especially in low-income communities.
“Nurse-midwives play a critical role in delivering maternity care, and it is of paramount importance that we increase access to the services they can provide,” Sen. Dodd said. “This bill enhances the ability of these dedicated practitioners to provide essential services, eliminating red tape that is so often a barrier to healthy outcomes.”
In California, nurse-midwives deliver 50,000 babies a year and provide an array of essential supporting services, filling an important role in the face of provider shortages. To meet the demand, Sen. Dodd in 2020 wrote Senate Bill 1237, increasing medical access for all women and birthing people, especially those in rural or inner-city settings. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Senate Bill 667 builds upon the momentum in recent years to preserve and protect access to maternity care and abortion in the state. It cuts through redundant requirements that might otherwise limit a certified nurse midwife from practicing to the full extent of their scope and training as the original law intended.
SB 667 is supported by the California Nurse-Midwives Association and is expected to be heard in committee next month.
“In recent years, California has committed to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, and especially to erasing racism-based disparities in maternal and infant outcomes,” said Paris Maloof-Bury, president of CNMA. “To that end, access to midwifery care has been named as a key strategy. This bill continues the work of integrating community midwifery and hospital midwifery into the current system of care in order to ensure that access to maternity care, especially for those most in need, is not limited by geography, race, ethnicity, income level or any other health indicator.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.