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Governor Signs Cervantes Bill to Increase Access to Maternal Mental Health Care

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – This week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1477 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) into law. Assembly Bill 1477, which will require a licensed health care practitioner who provides prenatal, postpartum, or interpregnancy care to give expectant mothers appropriate screening for maternal mental health (MMH) conditions.

AB 1477 expands the definition of “maternal mental health” to ensure that interpregnancy care is included so that mothers who experience miscarriages or stillbirths can seek assistance or mental healthcare services. Interpregnacy care will offer support to women who have experienced pregnancy loss, and increase early detection of symptoms that may improve health outcomes for both women and their children.

“Despite miscarriages and stillbirths being a common occurrence, there is still a high degree of stigma surrounding them. While many women find themselves in an isolated grieving process, their emotional and psychological needs often go unmet by healthcare or mental healthcare providers,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “As we increase California’s capacity to provide maternal mental healthcare, we must ensure that interpregnancy care is provided, including Maternal Mental Health screening. I want to thank Governor Newsom for signing this important bill. Pregnant women deserve quality mental healthcare, regardless of whether their pregnancies result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or full-term delivery.”

Maternal mental health disorders continue to be the most common pregnancy complication in the United States. One in five women in California experience depressive symptoms during or after pregnancy (21.5%); the highest prevalence of these symptoms were found among Black and Latina women, younger women, women of lower educational attainment, women utilizing Medi-Cal, and women in poverty. These disorders are widespread in communities of low socioeconomic status. Among those living in poverty, 50% are most immediately impacted by MMH disorders.

You can find more information about AB 1477 here.

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Sabrina Cervantes is a mother who proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, a portion of Riverside, and the unincorporated communities of Coronita, El Cerrito, and Home Gardens. Cervantes serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.