The Drake Institute of Research and Policy SUPPORTS House Bill No. 745 which calls on the Georgia General Assembly to pass, and the Governor to sign legislation to require perinatal facilities to implement implicit bias programs for healthcare professionals.
The Georgia Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 established a five-year waiting period for green card holders and placed limitations on funding for health coverage of immigrants. Because of this policy, an increasing amount of pregnant women do not have access to healthcare during pregnancy. House Bill 745 declares that no woman should face discrimination during pregnancy or childbirth, regardless of race, nationality, immigration status, and other factors. This bill could provide more women with necessary health measures during pregnancy, since reducing healthcare bias would ensure that all women are provided with adequate healthcare.
Due to factors such as employment status, social instability, and preexisting health conditions, immigrant women have higher rates of stress and depression during pregnancy. Additionally, Georgia ranks 50 out of 50 in maternal mortality rates in the U.S. Because of increased deportation efforts, immigrant women are less likely to seek medical care. Georgia’s high maternal mortality rate can be prevented if more women are provided with necessary medical care. Reducing biases in medical care of expecting mothers would mean that more women receive adequate care, which would lower the rate of maternal mortality.