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U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Announce Extended Postpartum Health Coverage for Minnesotans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced that Minnesota has received approval to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months to individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The extended coverage is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Senators Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year. “We must address our nation’s unacceptably high maternal mortality rates. Having long fought to improve care for new mothers and babies, this issue is personal to me, and it’s personal to moms across our state,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “I pushed for this funding to help ensure mothers in Minnesota can access the postpartum health coverage that they need.” “It is just plain unacceptable that a woman giving birth in 1987 had a greater likelihood of surviving childbirth than her daughter does today,” said Sen. Smith. “Thanks to these extended benefits made possible by the American Rescue plan, thousands of underserved women in Minnesota will see extended postpartum health coverage. This is a huge step towards solving the maternal mortality crisis and ensuring mothers in Minnesota, particularly women of color, are able to safely give birth.” While pregnancy-related deaths are declining around the world, the United States stands out as the only industrialized country with an increasing maternal mortality rate. The problem is particularly acute in communities of color, with Black and Native women more than two and a half times more likely to die from pregnancy–related complications. Maternal mortality is not just the result of what happens

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Legislation to Protect Access to Medication Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/23/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to defend access to medication abortion in states where the right to an abortion is still protected. The bill would protect current FDA guidelines so that women can always access medication abortion through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. Of the one in four American women who will have an abortion, over half will use medication abortion. In the 20 years since its approval, the evidence has shown that medication abortion can be prescribed to patients without an in-person appointment, is safe and effective for people to take in their own homes, and can be sent through the mail. But right now, extremist Republican lawmakers are attacking access to medication abortion and states have imposed restrictions that contradict scientific evidence. Republican efforts are undermining the ability of women to access proven, safe, and effective reproductive health care. Senator Smith’s Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would codify the FDA’s current guidelines so that women can always access medication abortion through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. “By attacking and undermining access to a safe and effective medication, Republicans are saying that government – not women, not their health care providers – should control the health care that doctors provide women,” said Sen. Smith. “We need to fight back against Republican efforts to chip away at women’s reproductive freedoms. That’s why I introduced this bill: to protect access to medication abortion. It is a critical step that we must take

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Major Federal Funding to Establish New Antiviral Drug Development Center at University of Minnesota

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced significant federal funding to establish a new Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Center for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern at the University of Minnesota (UMN).  The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will provide $66.4 million in federal funding over three years for the University of Minnesota to house a new center for researching and developing coronavirus antivirals, especially those that can be taken at home or in an outpatient setting, and treatments targeting specific viruses with high potential to cause a

Sens. Smith, Brown, Feinstein Lead Senate Dems in Introducing Resolution Recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) led all 50 Senate Democrats in introducing a Senate resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month. On the first day of LGBTQ Pride Month, the senators’ resolution highlights the contributions LGBTQ individuals have made to American society, notes several major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBTQ Americans, and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality for LGBTQ individuals. The resolution also recognizes how the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could potentially undermine and erode other constitutional

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, Jerry Moran Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Care

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to behavioral health care. The bill would make it easier for patients to receive behavioral health services in their primary care setting, which would make mental health care more affordable and accessible. “When I experienced depression, resources were there for me. But right now, too many people don’t have access to the behavioral health care they need,” said Senator Smith. “We need to start treating mental health with the same urgency we treat physical health, and that starts by making sure everyone who needs help can get it. This bill

Senators Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Federal Funds to Increase Outdoor Access in Minnesota

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant new federal funding to support outdoor access and recreation in Minnesota following Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s visit to the state. The new projects include outdoor recreation additions to the North End Community Center in St. Paul, improvements to Soldiers Field Park in Rochester, and an expansion and renovation of Willard Park in Minneapolis. “With our state’s lakes, parks, and trails, getting outside is central to Minnesotans’ way of life,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “By expanding green spaces and creating new outdoor recreational opportunities, this funding will help ensure that