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New Law Protects Pregnant Women Rights in Washington State

PregnancyA new law just signed by the Governor of Washington State protects pregnant women’s rights in many different ways. The new law, Senate Bill 5835 does many things but mainly makes “guaranteed scheduling flexibility for prenatal doctors’ visits, readily accessible drinking water, food and seating, and a score of manual labor accommodations” according to news reports. Senator Karen Keiser from Des Moines, who sponsored the bill, says that ” these reasonable accommodations may seem simple, the provisions of this law will make a significant difference to ensure healthy pregnancies for women and their children at a time when the United States suffers from one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the industrialized world.”

This new law also creates a new committee or Healthy Pregnancy Advisory Committee (HPAC) that will review and come up with strategies to improve mortality and morbidity in both infants and their mothers. The committee will have people from all areas including women’s medical experts, health care providers, and representatives from low income, immigrant communities, and minority groups. This committee is really important because “Native American and Black Washingtonians being more than twice as likely to experience premature birth and suffer pregnancy loss.”

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