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Harris introduces bill to combat racial bias in maternal health care

Harris introduces bill to combat racial bias in maternal health care
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform Vice President Harris receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine MORE (D-Calif.), who is running for president, on Wednesday reintroduced a bill to address racial disparities in maternal health care.

The proposal would invest $25 million in training programs for medical professionals to fight racial bias in maternal health. 

Another $150 million grant program would help states identify high-risk pregnancies to provide mothers with "culturally competent care." 

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“Black mothers across the country are facing a health crisis that is driven in part by implicit bias in our health care system," Harris said in a statement Wednesday. 

"We must take action to address this issue, and we must do it with the sense of urgency it deserves." 

The U.S. has the highest rate of pregnancy-related deaths among industrialized countries, and black women are three- to four-times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

A companion bill was also introduced Wednesday by Rep. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsRecord number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 Armed Trump supporter arrested at North Carolina polling place From HBCUs to Capitol Hill: How Congress can play an important role MORE (D-N.C.), co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus. 

“We cannot address the black maternal health crisis facing this country until we address racial disparities in healthcare," Adams said in a statement.