| Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed four bills that will greatly benefit pregnant women and young children throughout Los Angeles County and California. First 5 LA actively worked to support these bills, which represent major victories for California's youngest residents and pregnant women. They address maternity coverage for pregnant women, chemicals in products intended for consumption by young children and breastfeeding in birthing hospitals.
AB 210: Maternity Services Coverage - Assemblymember Roger Hernández (D-West Covina)
Requires health insurance companies to provide maternity services coverage for all insured women. Maternity services include prenatal care, ambulatory care maternity services, involuntary complications of pregnancy, neonatal care and inpatient hospital maternity care, including labor and delivery and postpartum care. This bill specifically applies to group health insurance policies such as those provided by an employer. (See related bill, SB 222, below)
AB 1319: Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act - Assemblymember Betsy Butler (D-El Segundo)
Prohibits the manufacture, sale or distribution of any bottle or cup that contains bisphenol A (BPA), at a level above 0.1 parts per billion. This ban is on bottles or cups intended to be filled with any liquid, food or beverage for consumption by children 3 or younger. The bill also requires manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing BPA in containers.
SB 222: Maternity Coverage - Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa)
A companion bill to AB 210, SB 222 requires all health insurance companies that provide individual insurance to cover maternity services for women. Individual insurance refers to policies people buy in the private market.
SB 502: Hospital Infant Feeding Protection Act - Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica)
Requires all hospitals with perinatal units to have an infant feeding policy that promotes breastfeeding. This policy is to be based on the Baby-Friendly USA policy or the Department of Public Health's Model Policies. Both policies encourage breastfeeding in hospital settings. The policy must be routinely communicated to staff working on a perinatal unit and be posted.
To see the status of all First 5 LA-supported bills, click here.