Tester backs bills to better understand, reduce premature births

Senator’s bipartisan bills invest in research, support March of Dimes

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is backing two initiatives to better understand and reduce premature births. 

Each year, half a million U.S. babies are born prematurely, increasing their risk of medical and developmental problems.

Tester this month sponsored the PREEMIE Act, which will invest in research to help determine the causes of premature birth, improve prenatal and postnatal care, and develop educational campaigns. 

“Improving our understanding of premature births will help reduce their frequency and improve the way we care for preemies and their mothers,” Tester said. “This bill is about giving women, their families, and their doctors the tools they need to have healthy, full-term pregnancies.”

The PREEMIE Act also establishes a new telemedicine project targeting rural regions that face high levels of risky pregnancies. Tester says it could especially benefit Montana’s Indian Country, where premature birth rates are higher than rates in other parts of the state and nationwide.

Tester is also supporting the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act. The measure authorizes the U.S. Mint to create half a million $1 coins to celebrate the upcoming 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes.

Coin sales will support the non-profit organization’s efforts to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and premature birth. The March of Dimes could raise as much as $10 million through coin sales and matching donations.

Tester recently backed a new effort to prevent violence against women and reiterated a woman’s right to accessible health care.

Tester’s bipartisan PREEMIE Act stands for the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who Deliver Infants Early Act. It is available online HERE.

Tester’s bipartisan March of Dimes bill is available online HERE.