Sandoval 2019 CommitteeCICERO — State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), a staunch advocate for women’s health and empowerment, sponsored multiple new laws to form a comprehensive plan to address rising maternal mortality rates—especially those among women and infants of color.

The first measure, House Bill 1, creates the Task force on Infant and Maternal Mortality among African Americans Act. The taskforce will meet and report its findings to the General Assembly on the causes and rates of maternal death for women and infants of color, and effective interventions to improve the quality and safety of maternity care.

“Women, especially women of color, are seeing an alarming rise in deaths of pregnant women or women that have terminated their pregnancy,” Sandoval said. “As a state, we have a responsibility to implement comprehensive solutions to save lives. Being a parent is a gift and our goal as a society should be to ensure mothers and their children are healthy and safe.”

According to the Office of Minority Health, African Americans have 2.2 times the infant mortality rate as non-Hispanic whites. And in 2014 Hispanic mothers were 70 percent more likely to receive late or no prenatal care compared to non-Hispanic white mothers.

The second measure, House Bill 2897, requires the Department of Public Health to investigate and apply for federal funding opportunities to support maternal mental health and requires the agency to file a report with the General Assembly regarding their efforts to secure and utilize the federal funding it receives.

“There is a system in place that is endangering the lives of women and infants of color,” Sandoval said. “Until this crisis is alleviated once and for all, it is vital for the state to investigate, institute concise directives, and educate mothers, medical and emergency personnel.”

House Bills 1 and 2897 were signed into law in July. House Bill 1 went into effect immediately and House Bill 2897 will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.  Both measures passed the General Assembly with unanimous support.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804
708-656-2002