Harris' bill seeks to address racial bias in maternal care

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 1, 2019, file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is offering a new bill to address racial disparities in maternal health care, one of several plans by 2020 presidential candidates on the issue.

The California Democrat's bill would create some $150 million in grant programs to medical schools and states to fight implicit racial bias in medical care for women.

Black women who bear children in the U.S. die at a rate three times higher than that of white women. Native American and Alaskan women die at a rate 2 1/2 times higher than white women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 700 women in the U.S. die annually from pregnancy-related complications.

Tennis star Serena Williams raised the issue's profile last year, saying her daughter's birth was harrowing in part because medical professionals second-guessed her.

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