Rep. Whiteford testifies before the House Appropriations Committee in support of her plan.
Michigan House Appropriations Committee Chair Thomas Albert and Health and Human Services Subcommittee Chair Mary Whiteford today detailed a plan to improve the health of pregnant mothers and their babies.
The proposal would improve upon the governor’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies initiative by promoting adoption, sharpening focus on challenges related to pregnancy, and increasing access to prenatal and postnatal care. The $15 million initiative will be considered as the Michigan House works on budget proposals in the coming months.
“Michigan must be a place where every pregnant mother in need can find help.,” said Albert, of Lowell. “With Michigan still averaging about 27,000 abortions each year – and roughly 2,000 state-coordinated adoptions, plus only an estimated 300 private infant adoptions – it’s clear a better plan is needed.”
Whiteford, of Allegan County’s Casco Township, sponsors the legislation and delivered testimony on it today for the Appropriations Committee.
“The goal of this new program is to go beyond the rhetoric that has been used in Michigan and around the country for various mother and baby initiatives,” Whiteford said. “Pregnant mothers and families will truly be helped by programs that will provide more information, resources and support.”
The plan would provide $10 million to market and promote infant adoption, including as an alternative to abortion.
The legislation also would provide $3 million for maternal navigator pilot programs in different locations in the state – providing the latest information about available prenatal, postnatal and neonatal care. The pilot programs also would provide counseling for new and expectant mothers, including victims of rape and other forms of abuse that results in a pregnancy.
Grants would be available to support the work of pregnancy resource centers across the state. The initiative would also fund the Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act, providing opportunities for teen and college-age mothers to continue education during pregnancy and after childbirth.
The plan – House Bill 4189 – remains under consideration in the House Appropriations Committee.
State Rep. Mary Whiteford, chair of the House Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee, today announced the launch of the Michigan Crisis and Action Line, with the rollout beginning in Oakland County and the Upper Peninsula. Whiteford introduced the legislation that created the hotline and has overseen its development for years.
Rep. Whiteford talks about her new, bi-partisan legislation, that she will co-sponsor with Dearborn Democrat Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, that will ban the billboard advertising of marijuana products. Rep. Whiteford says a similar ban on billboard tobacco advertising has been in place for decades.
Rep. Whiteford, who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee building the $31 billion budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for the 2022 Fiscal Year, says the spending plan is seeing a significant infusion of federal dollars while continuing to serve as the state’s safety net.
Rep. Whiteford talks about passage this week of House Bill 4359, which expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists to improve patient access to safe anesthesia services. The legislation was part of a bipartisan package of health care reform legislation.