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Improve Black Maternal Health

Illinois can’t wait to address Black maternal health disparities.

In the United States, the rate of maternal mortality is three to four times higher than other developed nations and significant disparities exist between racial and ethnic groups. Between 2011 and 2014, pregnancy-related mortality in the U.S. was four times higher for Black women than white women.

Illinois is the fifth most populous state and the fifth in the nation for births each year. Between 2008 and 2016, an average of 73 women died each year within one year of pregnancy and non-Hispanic Black women were six times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition as non-Hispanic White women.

Get involved.

The Black Organizing Program is an organized effort to elevate voices within the Black community and center our advocacy work in civic participation.

We support legislation that will:

We support legislation that will:

  • expand Medicaid to cover perinatal depression screenings, case management, and outreach for 12-months postpartum
  • expand services to treat high-risk pregnant and postpartum people, using criteria designed to reduce racial disparities in maternal health outcomes
  • mandate private insurance plans to make it easier to get long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUD's immediately postpartum; cover pregnancy and newborn care in alignment with ACA Essential Health Benefits; cover treatment for mental, emotional, nervous, or substance use disorders for pregnant and postpartum people for up to one year after giving birth; and cover case management and outreach for postpartum people with high-risk pregnancies
  • require hospitals to incorporate best practices into their written policies
  • require the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to seek federal approval of a State Plan amendment to expand Medicaid coverage for family planning services for individuals at or below 208% federal poverty level
  • require Medicaid to cover a universal postpartum visit within the first 3 weeks after childbirth and a comprehensive visit 4 to 12 weeks postpartum, to encourage attendance of postpartum visits