The committee would function as part of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen said it would operate in a similar manner as the interdisciplinary committees that review deaths of all infants and children in the city, and look for ways to prevent them.
Access to quality preventive and prenatal care for women of color and low-income women is a key concern behind this bill.
“There’s a maternal health crisis in our city, especially if you look east and west,” Allen said.
“For many District women of color and low-income women, access to comprehensive preventive and prenatal care is inconsistent and insufficient, a situation made even more dire by the recent closing of the labor and delivery units at Providence Hospital in Northeast D.C. and United Medical Center in Southeast D.C.,” Allen wrote in a January 2018 report from the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.
If passed and approved by the mayor, a 30-day period would follow for Congress to review it.
Allen expects D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to sign the bill. Congress also has to approve the measure, but Allen expects no interference on that front.
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