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PA Black Maternal Health Caucus Introduces Momnibus Bills

Rep. Gina Curry

The Pennsylvania Black Maternal Health Caucus announced a package of eight legislative bills on Tuesday – the Momnibus.

Modeled after a federal bill, the members of the caucus aim to increase access to maternal health care, eliminate maternal health care deserts, address the social determinants of maternal health, and make investments in maternal health care services.

Led by Reps. Morgan Cephas (D-Philadelphia), Gina H. Curry (D-Delaware) and La’Tasha Mayes (D-Pittsburgh), the group noted that 92 percent of Black maternal deaths are preventable and that the legislative proposals will reduce the troubling trends of rising maternal morbidity and mortality in Pennsylvania.

The Momnibus package would:

  • Require health-related boards within the Department of State to complete implicit bias training as part of continuing education requirements.
  • Extend Medicaid coverage to doula services, as well as establish the Doula Advisory Board to set standards and requirements for doulas.
  • Require health insurance to cover doula services.
  • Require health insurance to cover blood pressure monitors for pregnant and postpartum enrollees.
  • Expand Medicaid coverage of blood pressure monitors for pregnant and postpartum enrollees.
  • Designate maternal health deserts to target investments in maternal health care services.
  • Enhance access to mental health services for pregnant or postpartum patients.
  • Establish a program to distribute essential resources to new mothers.


“Our Momnibus package is the culmination of years of work to address the critical issues surrounding maternal health and well-being,” Cephas said. “These core areas of increasing access to care, eliminating maternal health deserts, and addressing social determinants of health, guide our focus in this comprehensive platform. This caucus has done an amazing job of developing a multi-pronged approach to achieve health and maternal care equity for birthing people across the state no matter where they live.”

Curry said, “When my co-chairs Reps. Cephas, Mayes, and I created the PA Black Maternal Health Caucus back in October 2023, we knew we had no time to wait before we sprinted into action. In my district and all across the commonwealth, women have become victims of health care system closures. These closures have created an alarmingly increasing problem of maternal health deserts. Nineteen counties in Pennsylvania have hospitals that don’t provide obstetric services and don’t have accredited freestanding birth centers. Thirty-one counties don’t have a Newborn Intensive Care Unit. This is a horrifying reality and one that we want to change now.”

“Prior to the birth of my daughter Charlotte, up until my partner Heather and I were admitted to the hospital, I worried about my partner’s health, especially as Black patients are at the highest risk for maternal mortality and morbidity and we were grateful to welcome our child into the world,” said Mayes. “This underlying fear that I felt is rooted in dangerous medical assumptions about Black bodies and implicit biases that put patients at risk, especially pregnant Black women. We must address these race-based and gender-based disparities to ensure health care is equitable for all moms, birthing people and all Pennsylvanians.”

The co-chairs, as well as Reps. Lisa Borowski (D-Delaware), Elizabeth Fiedler (D-Philadelphia), and Mandy Steele (D-Allegheny), modeled Pennsylvania’s Momnibus legislation after federal bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, (D-N.J.).

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