Lawmaker wants to pay expectant moms for checkups

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A Republican state lawmaker is proposing paying expectant mothers in three Memphis ZIP codes for having prenatal checkups.

Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown said he would like to make such a program statewide, but thought it would have a better chance of beginning as a pilot project, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Kelsey proposed paying pregnant women $50 per doctor visit for checkups as a way to reduce infant mortality.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle -- a Memphis Democrat -- said he had never heard of such a concept and wasn't certain potential recipients might not think it offensive.

Shelby County Health Department director Yvonne Madlock said the idea is worthy of consideration.

The county led the state in infant deaths in 2009 with 187.

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