CA Democratic Party
United States of America

Nearly one in four California women has experienced severe complications during childbirth hospitalization. Some of these complications include preeclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage, maternal infection and severe laceration. The maternal death rate has increased in the US and in CA since 1999. Some of these deaths are completely preventable.

The maternal mortality rate accounts for all women who die postpartum from pregnancy related causes within 42 days of giving birth (after hospital discharge). Significant health disparities in maternal childbirth outcomes persist in the USA.

Some states, like the state of IL, have mandated reporting. The state of IL also requires the every M.D. and R.N. provider in the obstetric unit of every obstetric hospital complete the maternal hemorrhage education program.

Maternal health in the state of CA could highly improve if data of maternal morbidities and maternal death were reported and utilized for improvement activities, as currently done with the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. California does not have explicit legislation around reporting or surveillance of maternal morbidity and mortality. The California Department of Health has authority to investigate maternal morbidity and death through very broad language through health and safety codes.


WHEREAS, California's maternal mortality rate was 49% higher in 2006-2008 than in 1999-2001, and the US is ranked 50th globally in maternal health, despite spending more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world; and

WHEREAS, severe complications, known as “near misses” are on the rise, with one in four California women suffering from postpartum complications, such as severe postpartum hemorrhages, preeclampsia, hypertension and/or infection with some of these maternal morbidities and deaths occurring up to 42 days postpartum after hospital discharge; and

WHEREAS, there are more women age 35 and over having pregnancies; in-vitro fertilization and infertility treatments which contribute to higher risk pregnancies are on the rise; African-American women are 3.3 times more likely to have a higher case fatality rate regardless of age; and currently in California there is no mandatory maternal morbidity and mortality reporting.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports the mandatory reporting of all maternal deaths (mortalities) and maternal “near misses,” (morbidities) by all physicians and hospitals in our state, to California Department of Public Health, Maternal Child Adolescent Health Division, to share with the California Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review, as the state of Illinois has done, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party send a copy of this resolution to the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association and ask that they publicly support such mandatory reporting.

Author: Karleen Basch, AD 45 Delegate

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The Mandatory Reporting of Maternal Deaths & Morbidites in the state of CA petition to CA Democratic Party was written by Karleen Basch and is in the category Health at GoPetition.