SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is helping ensure pregnant women
receive critical mental and physical health care services during and after their pregnancies by passing a
new law that requires the Department of Human Services (DHS) to establish a system for providing
specialized maternal health care to all women who need it.
“New mothers should never have to face mental or physical health problems without help,” Halpin
said. “But, our medical system is not doing nearly enough to provide them the care they need. Far too
many mothers, particularly low-income mothers, have to make it through serious post-partum
sicknesses without the support of a doctor because they can’t afford it.”
Halpin passed House Bill 5, which requires the DHS to establish a system for providing maternal care
to women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or who have recently given birth. The system will
help women who require medical aid get to the right health care facility designed to treat their specific
needs. This legislation was supported by both Democrats and Republicans and is now law.
In 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that almost 30,000 new moms experienced
postpartum depression, in some cases for years after giving birth. Only 2 in 10 received medical
treatment for their problem.
“I’m committed to building a stronger Illinois where medical care is affordable for everyone, and no
one is left behind because they make too little money,” Halpin said. “Having a baby can take a
tremendous toll on a new mother, and we need to ensure that moms are getting the help they deserve.”