Racial inequities in birth outcomes persist in the United States. Doula care may help to decrease inequities and improve some perinatal health indicators, but access remains a challenge. Recent doula-related state legislative action seeks to improve access, but the prioritization of equity is unknown. Researchers reviewed recent trends in doula-related legislation and evaluated the extent to which new legislation addresses racial health equity.

Researchers found that there has been an increase in proposed doula-related legislation between 2015 and 2020, but racial health equity is not a focus among the laws that passed. States should consider using racial equity assessments to evaluate proposed doula-related legislation.

Authors: S. Michelle Ogunwole, MD, PhD; J’Mag Karbeah, MPH; Debra G. Bozzi, PhD; Kelly M. Brower, PhD, MSN, MPH, RN; Lisa A. Cooper, MD, MPH; Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH; Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA.

Publication Date: May 2022

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