JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, March 16, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) signed Senate Bill 2212 which extends postpartum care from two to 12 months for mothers on Medicaid in Mississippi.

“Today in Mississippi, we have turned our attention to furthering our new pro-life agenda, and delivering the support moms and babies need. As I’ve said before, our new pro-life agenda will not be easy, and it will not be free. And there’s little doubt that we’re going to face some difficult choices along the way. But if there’s one thing we should all agree on, it’s that we must do everything in our power to lower barriers for expectant moms to bring new babies into the world and to choose life,” Reeves said.

The governor previously said he was willing to sign SB 2212 because more babies will be born because the U.S. Supreme Court upended abortion rights nationwide last year with a case that originated in Mississippi.

Medicaid pays for about 60% of births in Mississippi. The state is one of the poorest in the U.S., and it has high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality. Black women are significantly more likely to have complications after pregnancy.

Twenty-eight other states and the District of Columbia have extended postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year.

Since the COVID-19 public health emergency started in 2020, Mississippi has allowed a full year of postpartum coverage, although many patients have said the state did little to let them know the coverage remained after the usual two months.

The national public health emergency is set to expire in May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.