December 16, 2020

Young’s Bill to Improve Maternal Health and Close the Digital Divide Passes Senate

Bipartisan bill uses telehealth to tackle Indiana’s high maternal mortality rates

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Senate passed U.S. Senator Todd Young’s (R-Ind.) Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act to improve maternal health and address Indiana’s high maternal mortality rates. The bipartisan legislation that would utilize data mapping to show where high rates of poor maternal health outcomes overlap with lack of access to broadband services in order to help identify where improved access to telehealth services can be most effective.


“Indiana has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country. Earlier this year, I introduced a bipartisan solution to identify where the high maternal mortality rates are occurring, and ensure they receive the life-saving telehealth they need,” said Senator Young.“I’m encouraged that my Data Mapping to Save Moms' Lives Act is now one step closer toimproving the lives of Hoosier mothers and families, especially during these uncertain times.”


In January, Senator Young introduced the Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act with Senators Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Later that month, Senator Young unveiled the bill with Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box at Clark Memorial Health in Jeffersonville, Indiana.


BACKGROUND: The Data Mapping to Save Moms’ Lives Act (S. 3152) would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to map areas in the United States that have both internet service gaps and high rates of poor maternal health outcomes. Access to this critical information will help identify where improved access to telehealth services can be most effective, an issue of particular importance as U.S. women face startling statistics during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), severe complications related to pregnancy, known as severe maternal morbidity, impacts over 50,000 women in the U.S. each year.