DANBURY, Connecticut (WABC) -- Expecting mothers in Connecticut will soon have more options for where to seek maternal health care.
New legislation signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont sets up licensing and certification procedures for free-standing, independent birth centers, creating an alternative to traditional hospitals for low-risk pregnancies and deliveries.
The goal is to expand access and increase choices for high-quality maternal health services.
"This new law will help combat gaps in access to maternal health care that are preventing patients from receiving the care they need," Gov. Lamont said in a statement. "These birth centers can open and operate independently, creating an alternative that makes accessing this essential care easier and more convenient and giving parents more choices on where to receive their birthing care."
According to the state, pregnancy-related deaths have increased among all race and age groups in recent years.
The situation is even more dire in the Black community, the governor's office said, which consistently sees higher rates of maternal mortality at both state and national levels.
"Childbirth is supposed to be a time of happiness - not a time when people are stressed about how they're going to cover costs or gain access to safe and quality care," said Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, M.D. "This new law is an opportunity to have birthing centers take maternal care to another level while at the same time helping birthing people in this very special moment of their lives."
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