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Nurture KC enthusiastically supports Senate Bill 639 and Senate Bill 698 as a critical first step in addressing the maternal health crisis that exists in Missouri, particularly for Black mothers. The legislation extends postpartum coverage in Medicaid to one year. Enacting SB 639 and SB 698 recognizes the importance of women’s health outside the narrow window of pregnancy and delivery. The bipartisan support for improving maternal health signals a universal commitment in Missouri to take action against unacceptable rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. This is a health equity issue as Black mothers experience mortality at a rate that is 4 times that of White mothers. Missouri currently ranks 42nd in the nation in maternal mortality. It is estimated that 80% of these deaths are preventable.

Click “read more” to see the full written testimony supporting these bills submitted by Tracy Russell, Executive Director, Nurture KC.

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Nurture KC advocates for government legislation to improve the health of local families in KC, as it also impacts the families we serve through our Healthy Start program. The organization’s legislative priorities for 2022 include: 1) Extend Medicaid Postpartum Coverage to One Year, 2) Protect and Prioritize Immunization, and 3) Stay Involved in Emerging Issues Impacting Our Families (such as the Food Tax Elimination in Kansas and the Right to Counsel Ordinance in KC, MO). This ordinance ensures tenants facing eviction have a right to an attorney at no cost.

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