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NEW YORK (PIX11) — The New York City Council on Thursday passed legislation supporting maternal health and wellness in the Black community. 

In New York City, Black women are eight times more likely to die giving birth compared to white mothers, according to the Health Department.

The legislation is meant to empower Black mothers with a bill of rights, and ensure that all pregnant people in New York City have access to that information when they need it most.   

The Bronx in particular is in dire need of resources, including a birthing center and doula program, according to the borough president who co-sponsored the legislation. The infant mortality rate in the Bronx is the highest in New York City, according to the Health Department.

“Birth equity is a social justice issue — and it’s one that’s especially urgent and deadly in New York City,” said Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. 

Resolutions were also passed calling on the federal government to fund maternal health research and ensure insurance coverage would continue to pay for labor, delivery and postpartum care.