NJ Bill to Inform Pregnant Women of Available Birthing Options Clears Assembly Committee

Ensuring women are able to make informed decisions regarding their birth plans,

Assembly Democrats Britnee Timberlake, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Angela McKnight sponsor a bill that would require midwives and obstetricians to provide pregnant patients with information on all available birthing options in several languages. The Assembly Women and Children Committee advanced the bill on Monday.

Under the bill (A-804), a midwife or physician practicing obstetrics would be required to provide their pregnant patients with evidence-based information on all available birthing options and the health risks associated with each option. The bill would require the information be available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Creole, French, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese.

Midwives and physicians practicing obstetrics would be required to provide this information in writing during a patient’s initial consultation, prior to the beginning of labor.

Upon committee approval of the bill, Assemblywomen Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic), Reynolds-Jackson (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and McKnight (D-Hudson) issued the following joint statement:

“This bill will ensure all pregnant women planning to give birth in New Jersey have access to important information about available birthing options. Expanding access to this information will allow women to make informed decisions about their birth plans, understand which birthing options their insurance will cover, and open the door for a woman to be educated about and discuss with their provider all birthing options healthy for her body. By making this information available in several languages, we can reduce potential miscommunications that make labor and delivery more difficult and dangerous for all women.”

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