FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jesse Cordray, Press Secretary
Contact: Emma Balzer, Press Secretary Intern
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 14, 2020) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would address maternal mortality in Indiana recently passed the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services unanimously.
Under current law, "maternal mortality" refers to the death of a pregnant woman, irrespective of the pregnancy's duration, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy itself or management of the pregnancy.
Senate Bill 10 would amend the definition of "maternal mortality" to include deaths of pregnant women from any cause. SB 10 would also specify that for purposes of the review of records by the statewide maternal mortality review committee, health care providers include mental health professionals.
"When I learned that Indiana's maternal mortality rate was nearly twice as high as the national rate, I knew there had to be some sort of underlying cause," Leising said. "As I did more research, I learned that there were 63 deaths in the first year of the report, leaving 63 children without their moms. I also learned that 86% of pregnancy-associated deaths occur postpartum and that substance abuse disorder was the most common contributing factor to these deaths. I would like to make it clear that many women can suffer from mental health disorders during and after pregnancy and that these unnecessary and unfortunate deaths can be prevented with the support of proper health care professionals."
SB 10 will now be considered by the full Senate. To learn more about SB 10, click here.