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Rep. Hicks-Hudson announces bill to improve prenatal and maternal health outcomes moves to governor's desk

Democratic priority bill helps address racial disparities in infant mortality rates
June 12, 2020
Paula Hicks-Hudson News

COLUMBUS—Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) today applauded the House concurrence of House Bill (HB) 11, moving this Democratic priority legislation to improve prenatal and maternal health outcomes to the governor’s desk for his signature.

“We are one step closer to fulfilling our promise to improve the lives of all Ohioans with the enactment of this bill. We must do everything possible to help mothers and infants survive and thrive,” said Hicks-Hudson.

HB 11 would require the Ohio Department of Health to establish a grant program for the provision of group-based prenatal health care services to pregnant Medicaid recipients residing in areas of the state with high preterm birth rates. 

Additionally, the bill would require Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation medications and services.

According to a report by the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, black infants die in Ohio at more than two-and-a-half times the rate of white infants. The passage of HB 11 comes as Ohio House Democratic lawmakers continue to call for meaningful action to address racial health disparities, including the passage of HCR 31 to declare racism a public health crisis.