Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus) today introduced a several bills aimed at improving maternal health outcomes in Ohio, including legislation to improve statewide reporting on maternal mortality as well as a bill to expand training at hospitals and other birthing facilities across the state to improve care for certain life-threatening complications arising from childbirth.
“Currently, women are going into a healthcare system that doesn’t treat everyone fairly or equitably and it’s having devastating results,” said Rep. Crawley. “These commonsense proposals put families first, and will take us one step closer ensuring that all mothers and babies receive the best possible standards of care here in Ohio.”
The first bill expands current law to require the Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review (PAMR) Board to report annually and to identify causes and potential risk factors related to pregnancy-associated deaths in Ohio.
A recent PAMR report found that 186 women died in Ohio due to pregnancy-related reasons between 2008 and 2016. Black women died at a rate more than two and a half times that of white women. Over half of pregnancy-related deaths between 2012 and 2016 were preventable.
Rep. Crawley’s other bill, known as the Save Our Mothers Act, would require hospitals and other birthing facilities to offer employees training on maternal health and pregnancy-related complications in order to improve standards of care and save lives. Additionally, this bill will address cultural competency training to improve birth equity, reduce peripartum racial and ethnic disparities, and address implicit bias in the healthcare system.
“Deteriorating maternal health is a public health crisis in Ohio,” Rep. Crawley said. “Instead of passing extreme laws to limit healthcare for women, we should be working together to improve health outcomes and save lives. The Save Our Mothers Act is the first step to keeping our promise of safety and security to women and families.”
The U.S. currently has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world and is the only industrialized country with increasing rates. The Centers for Disease Control recently recommended states create a robust review process of maternal deaths in order to improve maternal mortality rates.