Black Maternal Health Week: A Better Wisconsin Together Calls on Lawmakers to Prioritize Issues Facing Black Women, Moms

MADISON, Wis. — With Black Maternal Health Week underway across the nation (April 11 – April 17), A Better Wisconsin Together is calling on state lawmakers to address the stark racial disparities in healthcare access for mothers and babies in Wisconsin, and take action on several other bills that would make Wisconsin a better place for Black women and mothers.

In Wisconsin, the maternal and infant mortality rates are several times higher for Black women and babies than for white women, yet Republican state lawmakers removed funds for a Maternal and Infant Mortality Prevention Program proposed by Governor Evers in the most recent state budget.

Wisconsin also severely lags behind other states in expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage for new parents, but some GOP state legislators are intentionally stalling passage of a bill that would expand that essential coverage for Wisconsin mothers.

Other issues facing Black mothers and children in Wisconsin that lawmakers could solve if state Republicans end their obstruction include: child care access and affordability, comprehensive paid family and medical leave, and access to reproductive health care.

According to recent reporting from Up North News, a majority of the women seeking abortion care are already mothers. Yet, Republicans are actively trying to block abortion access across the state.

“Black Maternal Health Week is a critical moment to center the experiences and needs of Black women and mothers in the larger conversation on maternal health, reproductive rights, and more,” said Lucy Ripp, communications director at A Better Wisconsin Together. “By prioritizing issues such as postpartum Medicaid coverage, child care, paid leave, and reproductive rights, Wisconsin lawmakers have the opportunity to address the systemic inequities that contribute to negative maternal health outcomes for Black women in our state.”

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.