FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Senate Republicans Applaud Governor Lamont’s Signing of Maternal Health Legislation

July 24, 2023

July 24, 2023

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Laura Parete
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Senate Republicans Applaud Governor Lamont’s Signing of Maternal Health Legislation

New law reflects 2022 Senate Republican concepts to support women & children in CT

HARTFORD, CT – Today, Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford), Senator Lisa Seminara (R-Avon), and Senator Heather Somers (R-Groton) applauded the Governor’s ceremonial signing of a new law that improves access to critical maternal and infant health care services during a press conference at the Connecticut Childbirth & Women’s Center in Danbury, CT.

Senate Bill 986 improves access to maternal and newborn health care services by:

  • Creating a license category for free-standing birth centers for low-risk pregnancies
  • Certifying services by doulas and midwives — trained professionals who provide emotional and physical support to their clients during childbirth.
  • Creating a program that lends a helping hand to hardworking first-time mothers and infants to support them during a new chapter in their lives.

Sen. Kelly said, “The health and well-being of women and infants is of the utmost importance. The new legislation provides more opportunities, options, and improved access to services for women to make medical decisions that support them and their families in Connecticut.”

Sen. Kelly continued, “Republicans have a long track record of strongly supporting and fighting for initiatives, such as those included in this legislation that help to improve the lives of women and children across Connecticut. Mothers and infants deserve a high quality of care and access to services that support them during pregnancy and postpartum” Sen. Kelly proposed legislation, regarding perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which were included in Senate Bill 9 this year.

In 2022, Sen. Kelly and former Sen. Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) proposed legislation to support maternal mental health by increasing education, access to resources and screenings, and reducing the stigma surrounding postpartum depression and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Many components of the proposed legislation were included in House Bill 5500.

The Connecticut Senate Republicans’ 2022 proposal of A Better Way to a Healthy Connecticut recommended a comprehensive plan to increase screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, require education for providers and patients, ensure therapy is covered by insurance, and raise public awareness to break the stigma that surrounds maternal mental health issues.

“Improving maternal health care access is our priority,” said Sen. Heather Somers, Ranking Senator on the Public Health Committee. “This new health equity law moves us in the right direction. Deaths from pregnancy-related complications are often preventable. These preventable deaths frequently occur in rural areas and places with limited maternal health care access.”

Sen. Lisa Seminara, Ranking Senator on the Committee on Children and Human Services Committee, said, “The health of a child and a mother during and after pregnancy is often overlooked. With the development of care, technology, and treatments evolving at a rapid rate, it is crucial that we use all tools at our disposal to protect children and women from preventable complications. It is also vital to our communities that this care is accessible and affordable, regardless of geography. I applaud the Governor’s support of our caucus-proposed concept in hopes to better the care of mother and child.”

To learn more about Senator Kelly, please visit

For more information about the CT Senate Republicans’ “A Better Way,” please visit A Better Way – Connecticut Senate Republicans (

*Sen. Kelly represents the 21st District of Stratford, Shelton, Seymour, and Monroe.