Following today’s testimony by the Department of Human Services before the Assembly Budget Committee on improving maternal health services and reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in New Jersey, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) released the following statement:
“As a brand new father, I know how important quality and accessible maternal healthcare is for a growing family. From pre-conception to the postpartum period, families deserve to be supported every step of the way, and the steadily increasing rates of maternal and infant mortality – especially for mothers of color and low-income women – are nothing short of alarming.
“I’m extremely pleased and grateful to hear the Department of Human Services, as part of First Lady Murphy’s broader interdepartmental Nurture NJ initiative, is already beginning to implement several initiatives to improve maternal and infant care and reduce disparities, including use of the legislative family planning appropriation to support family and prenatal services, adding Medicaid coverage for doula services to improve birth outcomes, expanding tobacco cessation coverage, and expanding overall access to care.
“I’m proud to raise a family in a state that fully supports maternal and infant health services. We cannot allow the color of a mother’s skin or her household income to determine the likelihood that she or her baby survives childbirth or otherwise affect their health and wellbeing.”