Wisconsin has the highest rate of black infant mortality. African American babies born in our state die before age 1 at a higher rate than any other state in the country.
The rate of infant deaths for black babies in Wisconsin is nearly three times as high as white babies.
The maternal mortality rate for African Americans is five times greater than for non-Hispanic Caucasians giving birth in Wisconsin.
$28 Million Healthy Women Healthy Babies Investment in Evers’ Budget Proposal
This investment aims to support healthier pregnancies and births.
Includes funding to pilot a doula reimbursement program in targeted communities and invests in doula training grants. (The benefits of having a doula present during labor are well documented and studies show improved birth outcomes).
Expands Medicaid postpartum eligibility for women up to one year. (Currently, Medicaid covers pregnant women for only 60 days after birth of their child).
Creates an Infant Mortality Prevention Program at the Department of Health Services.
Includes funding for the Family Foundations Home Visiting Program which supports mothers at high risk for a poor birth outcome.
Includes funding to address racial disparities through the Minority Health Grant.
Restores Maternal Child Health (MCH) Grant funding which funds cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), patient education and counseling, pregnancy diagnosis, prenatal counseling, referrals, and other health services. The proposal also makes organizations like Planned Parenthood eligible for MCH Grant funding.
It is heartening to see a budget that includes provisions to help address our state’s infant mortality and birth outcome crisis with this initiative.
Recognizing that women’s preventative health care should be prioritized is a step in the right direction
It is crucial that community leaders remain at the table through implementation.
These items mustnot be taken out of the budget as we must start taking steps to remedy this crisis.