2023 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Williams, Boyd, Branning
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI ACCESS TO MATERNAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM WITHIN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO COORDINATE AND PROMOTE INFORMATION AND SERVICES RELATED TO PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND CARE FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN FOR EXPECTANT MOTHERS AND NEW PARENTS; TO REQUIRE THE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE CERTAIN RESOURCES RELATED TO ADOPTION ASSISTANCE, CHILDCARE, DOMESTIC ABUSE PROTECTION, EARLY INTERVENTION, FOOD, CLOTHING AND SUPPLIES RELATED TO PREGNANCY AND NEWBORN CARE, JOB TRAINING AND PLACEMENT, PATERNITY, PARENTING SKILLS, AND PRENATAL AND POSTPARTUM CARE; TO REQUIRE THAT INFORMATION RELATED TO THE PROGRAM SHALL BE AVAILABLE ON A SEPARATE WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE FROM THE DEPARTMENT'S MAIN WEBSITE; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH A PROMOTION CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE PROGRAM; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT TO PROMULGATE RULES TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Mississippi Access to Maternal Assistance Program is hereby established within the State Department of Health to coordinate and promote information and services related to pregnancy, childbirth and care for dependent children for expectant mothers and new parents.
(2) The Program shall include, but shall not be limited to, providing comprehensive information and resources related to adoption assistance, childcare, domestic abuse protection, early intervention, food, clothing and supplies related to pregnancy and newborn care, job training and placement, paternity, parenting skills, and prenatal and postpartum care provided by:
(a) The State of Mississippi or any other governmental entity; or
(b) Relevant nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions.
(3) The program shall not include any information related to coverage of abortions or abortion rights. The program shall not include any resources provided by an organization which provides, pays for, or provides coverage for abortion, or financially supports any other entity which provides, pays for or provides coverage for abortions.
(4) Information related to the program shall be available on a separate website accessible from the department's main website and County Health Department's websites by October 1, 2023. The mobile application referenced in Section 5 of this act shall be available to the public no later than January 1, 2024.
(5) The department shall establish a promotional campaign to educate the public about the program, including, but not limited to, the implementation of a website, social media graphics and any other awareness activity, including the creation of a mobile application.
(6) The department shall promulgate rules to implement this program.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2023.