March of Dimes welcomes new California law to reduce black maternal and child mortality

SACRAMENTO, California., October 5, 2021 / PRNewswire / – March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for maternal and baby health, on Monday welcomed a new law, the California Momnibus Act, which will improve perinatal outcomes and address racial disparities in maternal and child health. The bill, also known as Senate Bill 65 (SB-65), was signed by the governor Gavin Newsom and aims to make significant progress in preventing premature births, eliminating preventable maternal deaths and addressing racial health disparities that affect California mothers, infants and families.

United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. It is estimated that 700 deaths per year in the United States are related to pregnancy, of which about 3 in 5 are considered preventable. Families of color are disproportionately affected by maternal and child mortality. A recent report of the California Department of Public Health found that the pregnancy-related death rate among black women is four to six times higher than that of other racial / ethnic groups. In 2018, 1,917 babies died in California before reaching one year of age, the mortality rate for black and Native / Native American infants is well above the state average.

SB-65 not only improves California committees that examine perinatal and infant mortality and morbidity, it diversifies, strengthens and creates better access to the midwifery workforce by creating a fund for education programs that prioritize the admission of people from under-represented groups and underserved communities. The new law also clarifies that pregnant women are exempt from CalWORKS workplace welfare requirements. Key elements of the original bill were included in California Budget 2021-2022 such as extending Medicaid coverage to 12 months postpartum, Medicaid coverage for doula services, increasing the CalWorks supplement for pregnant people and a guaranteed income pilot program prioritizing pregnant people. March of Dimes believes the new law will reinvent maternity, pregnancy and childbirth care for Californians and will ultimately improve health outcomes for all.

Mashariki kudumu, director of maternal and child health for March of Dimes, Greater Los Angeles, spoke about the impact of this legislation during the virtual signing of the bill on Monday.

As we join forces to build a better future for moms and babies, we know there is still work ahead of us, ”said Kudumu. “In accordance with the Federal Black Maternal Health Momnibus law of 2021, California has shown its commitment to improving maternal and child health with SB-65. We hope this serves as an example for other states to pass their own legislation, as lives literally depend on it. ”

March of Dimes fully supports the passage of the federal Momnibus Act which, like the California Momnibus, is a comprehensive approach to addressing the maternal health crisis and improving health outcomes for communities of color.

“March of Dimes applauds the passage of this crucial legislation and the package of maternal health reforms California adopted this year, ”said Stacey brayboy, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at March of Dimes. “Senator Skinner and his colleagues in the Legislature have shown vision and leadership in raising the inequalities faced by BIPOC mothers and infants and ensuring that the state takes bold action to close the gap in the results. I would like to further thank Governor Newsom for his support for these initiatives and his continued commitment to making the changes we need to ensure all mothers and babies get a healthy start. “

March of Dimes also thanks first partner Jennifer Seibel Newsom for her support of the California Momnibus Act, as well as Senator Nancy skinner for his leadership in drafting the bill, as well as all the co-sponsors, co-sponsors and advocates.

About the March of Dimes

The March of Dimes is leading the fight for the health of all mothers and babies. We support research, lead programs, and provide education and advocacy so every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful legacy of 80 years of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

Visit or for more information. Visit for more convenience and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

SOURCE The March of Dimes inc.

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