JHB creates Congressional caucus on maternity care

When U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, cruised to her third term last November, she said her first priority would be to create jobs in Southwest Washington.

There were also hints she would let her personal experience with her daughter drive a policy agenda.

This week, she announced she was forming a unique caucus with a Democratic counterpart – the Congressional caucus on maternity care.

The caucus will “explore the best evidence about safe and effective maternity care for all women and babies,” according to a press release.

“Each year, approximately 4,000,000 women give birth in this country.  The U.S. spends significantly more per capita on childbirth than any other industrialized nation.  However, despite this investment, America continues to rank far behind almost all other developed countries in birth outcomes for both mothers and babies,” Beutler said in a statement.

During Herrera Beutler’s second term, her daughter Abigail was born premature and without kidneys.

Beutler has also done work on a bill to help create a nationwide network of providers to help medically complex children.

She also recently announced she would introduce legislation to help parents “understand the limitations and benefits of prenatal screening provided during pregnancy.”

Doctors told Herrera Beutler that Abigail’s Potter Syndrome would likely be fatal.

The congresswoman found out about Abigail’s situation through a routine ultrasound, her office said, not a prenatal screening.

“But she can certainly relate to the emotional roller coaster parents experience when they receive news about their pregnancy,” Amy Pennington, her spokeswoman told The Columbian earlier.


Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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