Bill to prevent preterm births signed into law

Legislation authored by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) that is intended to reduce the number of premature births was recently signed into law.

Alexander introduced the bipartisan PREEMIE bill with HELP Committee Member Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) earlier this year.

The measure reauthorized research and programs that are intended to prevent premature births and improve treatment of preterm births that do occur.

“This is an important step to help reduce the rate of premature births in Tennessee, which is over 12 percent,” Alexander said. “Our legislation will help doctors and researchers working on saving infant lives and preventing births from happening too early. We have made great progress since we first put the spotlight on premature birth, but it remains the leading killer of newborns and a major cause of lasting disabilities.”

The PREEMIE bill reauthorizes research and programs on premature birth carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, improves the tracking of national data on preterm births and funds related studies.

The measure also reauthorizes the Health Resource and Services Administration to continue carrying out programs that strive to improve treatment of premature babies.