Harris, Gillibrand offer plans to bolster maternal care

Two Democratic women running for president have unveiled plans to improve maternal health care

Harris' bill, first introduced in 2018, would create a $25 million program to fight racial bias in maternal care. It would direct grants to medical schools, nursing schools and other training programs to improve care for black women, who are three to four times more likely than white women to die in childbirth .

Her revived proposal also would allocate an additional $125 million toward identifying high-risk pregnancies and, according to her Senate office, provide mothers with the "culturally competent care and resources they need."

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker earlier this year teamed up with Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and introduced legislation aimed at reducing the country's maternal mortality rate, particularly among black women.

Gillibrand announced a plan for a Family Bill of Rights , which she vowed to implement promptly if elected president. It seeks to improve access to obstetrician-gynecologists in rural areas, while making adoptions or in vitro fertilization more affordable for everyone wanting children, regardless of income, religion or sexual orientation.

Her plan would provide government-sponsored "baby bundles" for new parents, with diapers, onesies, a small mattress and other items designed to make newborn nurseries healthier. It further includes beefed-up paid family leave allowing parents to care for their children into infancy, universal prekindergarten programs and expanded child care tax credits.

"The Family Bill of Rights will make all families stronger — regardless of who you are or what your zip code is — with a fundamental set of rights that levels the playing field starting at birth," Gillibrand said in a statement.

Gillibrand said she had a "several ideas" to pay for the proposed initiatives, including a 0.1% tax on financial transactions like stock purchases, which she says would generate $777 billion over 10 years.

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Associated Press Writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.