State Senate Passes Bills Promoting Women’s Health Care

Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro)

HYANNIS – The Massachusetts State Senate recently passed a pair of bills increasing health care access for women and expecting and postpartum mothers across the state.

The first bill, “An Act relative to expanding equitable access to maternal postpartum care” sponsored by Senator Joan B. Lovely of Salem, would require that MassHealth provides standard coverage for eligible pregnant and postpartum residents for 12 months after the end of the pregnancy.

The bill comes following a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention citing an increase in deaths due to maternal causes in the United States, with maternal death rates highest among black women with 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births.

A second bill, “An act to increase access to disposable menstrual products” sponsored by Senator Patricia D. Jehlen of Sommerville, would direct the state to provide free feminine products at public places such as schools, shelters, and temporary housing.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that in the United States we are experiencing a rise in maternal death rates and a disproportionate impact on Black women,” said Senator Julian Cyr of Truro. “Every person who gives birth deserves the protections that come with health care coverage when pregnant and throughout the postpartum period.”

“I am elated to support the passage of this vital legislation and beyond thankful to Senator Joan Lovely for her leadership on this work. I am also thrilled to see the expansion of access to menstrual products for all menstruating people thanks to the hard work of Senator Pat Jehlen and young advocates. Both Bills signify great strides in supporting equity for individuals who give birth and who menstruate.”

Both bills will now move to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for further deliberation.


By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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