La. lawmaker presents plan to improve women’s healthcare

The Louisiana State Capital Building in Baton Rouge, La.
The Louisiana State Capital Building in Baton Rouge, La.(Source: WAFB)
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 6:46 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The quality of women’s healthcare in Louisiana is ranked one of the lowest in the country and one state lawmaker believes she has a plan to turn that around.

“Women have a lot of different moving parts, right? We got a lot of plumbing, right?,” said Sen. Regina Barrow (D) jokingly Wednesday morning in the Senate Health and Welfare committee.

With the quality of health for Louisiana women at some of the lowest in the country, Sen. Barrow believes her bill is part of the answer to that problem. It would put all women’s services the state has to offer under one umbrella in its own office at the state’s Department of Health.

To make sure that the delivery of care, it has somewhat of a continuity, and it’s maximized as it relates to the delivery of care for women,” Sen. Barrow said.

The new department would look closely at where women’s healthcare could use the most improvements and provide those resources.

“Certainly, maternal health is one of the things that we rank almost last in, behavioral health as it relates to women, and then certainly for women who are aging,” Barrow explained.

Lawmakers unanimously agreed that the health of our women affects the health of everyone in our communities. A spokesperson with Women’s Hospital said they agree.

“If we had this office it would help to look at women in other lights, other avenues. Such as behavioral health, intimate partner balance, other unique needs that women have in terms of cancer and screening, and even women with disabilities,” said Cheri Johnson, Chief Nursing Officer at Women’s Hospital.

Johnson said data from Women’s Hospital shows we’re starting to make changes to improve outcomes.

“Especially for maternal care. And this would just broaden that work,” Johnson added.

The bill received zero pushback from lawmakers Wednesday, but it still needs to go through a couple of hurdles before it reaches the governor.

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