Assemblywoman Paulin Introduces Bill to Require NY Hospitals to Publish Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Statistics to Identify Racial Disparities

July 17, 2020

Albany, NY – Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) introduces bill A.10822 to require New York hospitals and birth centers to publish statistics related to maternal mortality and morbidity and to identify racial disparities in negative delivery outcomes.

New York ranks thirtieth in the nation for its maternal mortality rate, with racial disparities evident based on those who have died. Black and brown women continue to suffer severe pregnancy and birth complications at alarmingly higher rates as compared to other women.

This bill will require New York hospitals to publish statistics related to their rates of maternal deaths, third trimester fetal losses and stillbirths, hemorrhaging during or immediately following childbirth, organ and tissue damage during cesarean sections, and third and fourth degree tearing during vaginal births. Hospitals will also be required to include racial demographics for each of these data points.

Following the introduction of the bill, Assemblywoman Paulin said, “This legislation will provide information that is critical to fighting our state’s maternal mortality and morbidity crisis and addressing racial biases in our maternal healthcare system. Giving birth should be a joyous time and our system must treat all women equally and give them a fair chance at a healthy and safe delivery.”

New York City doula Jesse Pournaras said, “The recent deaths of three Black mothers – ShaAsia Washington, Amber Isaac, and Cordielle Street – are symptomatic of New York's maternal mortality crisis, particularly for Black women. Transparency will increase accountability for poor perinatal outcomes, encourage hospitals to improve their records, and allow state agencies to improve guidelines and protocols regarding patient care. Most importantly, this bill will give New York's families the information they need to make decisions about where to receive their care and birth their babies.”