Wisconsin

NIRH is committed to finding community-based solutions to inequities in birth outcomes among Black birthing people. In 2022, NIRH is working with Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness (FFBWW) and Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH) to disrupt the persistent maternal and child health disparities that have plagued Black women and babies in Wisconsin for generations. With an incredibly high rate of Black infant mortality, Black babies in Wisconsin are three times more likely to die before the age of one. Equally disturbing, Black moms in Wisconsin are five times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications or during childbirth. At the center of these efforts will be a campaign to build support for the Wisconsin Birth Equity Act, a groundbreaking collection of policies targeted at increasing access to full-spectrum care, financial resilience, comprehensive insurance coverage, and a statewide effort to engage Black women in birth equity advocacy efforts.  NIRH and WAWH are also partnering in 2022 to explore a series of opportunities to help ensure Wisconsin patients have meaningful access to the full range of contraceptive options. This comprehensive contraceptive access project includes assessing and raising awareness of contraceptive deserts in the state along with ensuring awareness of and compliance with the 2008 Compassionate Care for Rape Victims Law. In collaboration with academic partners, health care providers, and community-based groups including community doulas, this partnership seeks to ensure that expanded access to contraceptive care is person-centered, inclusive, and affordable, including the development of tools and resources to counter implicit bias and educate stakeholders on the reproductive justice framework.  In 2019, NIRH worked closely with WAWH to defend against bad bills and inform the public about what reproductive rights look like in Wisconsin. With NIRH’s support, WAWH placed billboards in Madison and created a web platform to kick off a campaign to educate Wisconsinites about the barriers that already exist to full access to reproductive health care and what should be done to improve it. In response to a package of five anti-abortion bills introduced by Republican leadership in the state house, WAWH worked with the Democratic leadership and the Governor’s office to introduce the Abortion Access Protection Act.   Beginning in 2017, NIRH worked closely with WAWH to coordinate with legislators and coalition partners on the RESPECT Women Act. WAWH built public and legislative support for the Act’s expansion and protection of abortion access. NIRH supported the WAWH in its efforts from 2012 to 2014 to strengthen collaborations, improve voter education, and counter restrictions on access to reproductive health care.