Bill to support state office on women’s health sits in waiting at Louisiana Capitol

State News

Louisiana State Capital in spring at Baton Rouge.

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With three days left in the legislative session, the rush is on to get bills passed. The campaign to establish a state office on women’s health is one such measure with overwhelming bipartisan support.

House Bill 193 unanimously passed out of the House, 98-0, on May 27 and has since moved into the Senate. Authored by Representative C. Denise Marcelle (D-Baton Rouge), the proposal would establish the Louisiana Office on Women’s Health in an effort to improve health outcomes for women and infants.

The bill is in line with a recent effort put forth at the U.S. Capitol by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA). The bipartisan Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act would authorize new federal grant programs aimed at reducing maternal mortality.

“Louisiana stands to benefit greatly from the Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act through the Office on Women’s Health by possibly receiving grants authorized under the act to develop evidence-based practices and innovative healthcare services for women and infants,” said Rep. Marcelle.

During the Fall 2020, the Louisiana Center for Health Equity (LCHE) was in conversation with Sen. Bill Cassidy on the dismal health outcomes among women across the state. Subjects broached included Louisiana’s high rate of maternal mortality, preterm birth, low birthweight and infant mortality.

“I am extremely pleased with Senator Bill Cassidy’s leadership on addressing these health outcomes for women and infants, especially as it relates to maternal mortality and racial and ethnic bias,” said Alma C. Stewart, President and Founder of Louisiana Center for Health Equity.

If you support the establishment of a Louisiana Office on Women’s Health, you are encouraged to contact your Senator and ask him/her to bring the bill forward before the session ends Thursday.

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