South Carolina, others extend health care for new moms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee and South Carolina are joining five other states in extending health care coverage to women with low-to-modest incomes for a full year after childbirth.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Friday the expansion of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It comes as the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn women’s constitutional right to abortion, making maternal health care more urgent than ever.

About 700 U.S. women die annually because of pregnancy-related problems.

Becerra also announced a new Maternal Mental Health Hotline. The free, confidential service is available 24 hours a day by calling or texting 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS.

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