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Improve Health in Mothers and Babies - 3/22/2011 -

Improve Health for Texas Mothers and Babies
3 bills that address maternal and infant health are on the move and need your help

What Is Happening:
Three bills that address maternal and infant health in Texas are headed before key committees, but to get to the chamber floor for a vote they need your help.
  • HB 419 (Villarreal), which goes before the Human Services Committee today: HB 419 would continue to grant some women access to preventative health care services, including screenings, check-ups, and family planning.
  • HB 2505 (Walle), which goes before the Public Health Committee tomorrow: HB 2505 would create a task force to reduce the prevalence of premature births in Texas and improve care for preemies, including with recommendations and discharge tools for hospitals and resources for parents of premature babies.
  • SB 1050 (West), which is likely to be heard by the Senate Health and Human Services committee next week: SB 1050 would help bring attention to a health problem that is causing many babies to be born too early and unhealthy unnecessarily—hospitals allowing the scheduling of inductions and C-sections that are not medically warranted before the 40th week of pregnancy.
Why It Matters:
Preterm births have spiked in recent years, causing more babies to enter life struggling with health problems. A number of factors contribute to poor infant health in Texas. Our state has one of the nation's highest rates of women failing to receive prenatal and preventive health care; in fact, a majority of Texas mothers "mistime" births, meaning their pregnancies were unintended. Mistimed births are linked to lower levels of prenatal care and higher levels of maternal substance abuse, which can harm fetal growth. What's more, a dramatic rise in the use of Caesarian delivery and early induction, before the 39th week of pregnancy and in cases where there is no medical reason for the procedure, is driving poor health outcomes in newborns. Although the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations have all recommended against the practice, there is no accountability for hospitals that allow the procedure with surprising frequency.

What You Can Do:
By Tuesday, March 22: Contact members of the House Human Services Committee to say, "Please support HB 419 to improve maternal health and preventive care for women in Texas."
Chair: Rep. Richard Pena Raymond (512) 463-0558
Vice Chair: Rep. Geanie Morrison (512) 463-0456
Members: Rep. Naomi Gonzalez (512) 463-0622

Rep. Chuck Hopson (512) 463-0592

Rep. Bryan Hughes (512) 463-0271

Rep. Todd Hunter (512) 463-0672

Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (512) 463-0186

Rep. Elliott Naishtat (512) 463-0668

Rep. Van Taylor (512) 463-0594

By Wednesday, March 23: Contact members of the House Public Health Committee to say, "Please support HB 2505 so Texas can begin bringing down the high rate of premature births and provide better care to babies born prematurely."
Chair: Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst (512) 463-0600
Vice Chair: Rep. Elliott Naishtat (512) 463-0668
Members: Rep. Carol Alvarado (512) 463-0732

Rep. Garnet Coleman (512) 463-0524

Rep. Sarah Davis (512) 463-0389

Rep. Veronica Gonzales (512) 463-0578

Rep. Susan King (512) 463-0718

Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (512) 463-0186

Rep. Charles Schwertner (512) 463-0309

Rep. Vicki Truitt (512) 463-0690

Rep. John Zerwas (512) 463-0657

By Tuesday, March 29: Contact members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee to say, "Please support SB 1050 to make hospitals report on birth certificates when they use medically unnecessary early C-Sections and inductions, which are contributing to prematurity in babies."
Chair: Sen. Jane Nelson (512) 463-0112
Vice Chair: Sen. Bob Deuell (512) 463-0102
Members: Sen. Joan Huffman (512) 463-0117

Sen. Robert Nichols (512) 463-0103

Sen. Dan Patrick (512) 463-0107

Sen. Jose R. Rodriguez (512) 463-0129

Sen. Carlos Uresti (512) 463-0119

Sen. Royce West (512) 463-0123

Sen. Judith Zaffirini (512) 463-0121

We thank you for all you do to Put Kids 1st!


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