Establishing Maternal Mortality Review Boards in New York

Policy Win
Eliminating Racial & Economic Disparities

The high rate of maternal mortality among Black birthing people constitutes a crisis, and is the result of systemic racism that has impacted reproductive health outcomes for Black communities for generations.

On August 1, 2019, New York enacted a bill establishing the New York State and New York City Maternal Mortality Review Boards and a Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advisory Council. Comprising diverse groups of clinical experts, the review boards and the council will undertake a comprehensive review of every maternal death in New York State and develop recommendations and best practices to lower the maternal mortality rate.

This legislation confronts a public health crisis – New York’s maternal death rate rose from 13.2 per 100,000 live births in 2006 to 25 per 100,000 in 2015, and Black women in New York are nearly four times more likely than white women to die of causes related to pregnancy or childbirth.

For three years NIRH advocated for this bill, supporting the tireless work of partners in the reproductive justice and health community. In New York State – and across the country – every person deserves access to the highest quality reproductive care and the freedom to make their own decisions about their body, life, and future.