In a speech on the House floor, sponsor Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, thanked lawmakers for “beginning to take care of the needs of our most vulnerable mothers who are at risk of losing their lives post-partum.”
Georgia’s maternal mortality rate has long ranked among the bottom of U.S. states, and a bipartisan state study committee recently found that 60% of the state’s maternal deaths between 2012 and 2014 were preventable.
House Bill 1114 is the Legislature’s most substantive action yet to cut down on such fatalities, which disproportionately impact women of color. Black women in Georgia are three to four times more likely to die when they become mothers than white women, according to the study committee.
The measure, which the Senate passed Tuesday, would also expand lactation care for mothers on Medicaid.
Read more: Georgia Senate backs maternal mortality bill