New York State Senate Passes Legislation to Improve Maternal Health Outcomes

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Action is still needed in the New York State Assembly to authorize a statewide maternal mortality review board
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(PRESS RELEASE) Yesterday, the New York State Senate passed a bill (S. 8907) supporting a statewide maternal mortality review board to reduce New York’s maternal mortality and morbidity rates and promote better, more equitable maternal health outcomes.  

Poor maternal health outcomes disproportionately affect women of color in New York, and black women in NYC are 12 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women. The Senate passed legislation yesterday that would establish a statewide review board to examine deaths and severe complications related to pregnancy and childbirth in an effort to prevent similar situations from occurring among new and expectant mothers. The New York State Assembly has an opportunity to pass a compatible bill (A. 10346 – A) today, before the legislative session ends.

“Maternal mortality and morbidity have become increasingly common problems in New York State and proactive legislation is urgently needed to reverse this dangerous trend,” said Pilar Herrero, Human Rights Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“New York State’s maternal mortality and morbidity outcomes are unacceptable and inequitable, and New York women and families deserve immediate and thoughtful policy action that addresses this injustice. Review boards are a proven solution and we urge the New York State Assembly to follow the lead of the Senate and pass this urgently needed bill.”

“We are encouraged that the New York State Senate has taken steps to protect women’s health and lives through a public health approach to maternal mortality prevention,” said Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, Founder &, President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative and Advisory Committee Member of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance.

“We hope that for the sake of all New York mothers, and for Black mothers specifically, the New York State Assembly will also address this important issue. Authorization of a diverse maternal mortality review board will move New York towards evidence-based solutions that respect and engage our communities.”