The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Let me say that again, the United States, with the most sophisticated health care in the developed world, has the highest maternal mortality rate of first-world countries. This means the mother does not survive the birthing process.

Seven hundred to 900 mothers dying of pregnancy-related causes per year is a national disaster that is in epidemic proportions. This impacts mothers in the state of Washington. Maybe you know someone where the mom died during or soon after the delivery. I know of a young mother who was removed days ago from life support after being declared brain dead. This may have been due to a preventable infectious disease.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler stepped up to the plate and introduced a bill that would create maternal mortality review committees to investigate every maternal death that occurs. This will collect the data and information needed to stop this epidemic.

This is an important and essential step to move beyond single anecdotal stories to actionable information. Her bill was signed into law by the president in December. This important legislation will give us the data we need to ensure that more children grow up in families with mothers in their life.




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