Cephas, Policy Committee focus on Meaningful Solutions to Maternal Mortality

PHILADELPHIA, April 3 State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on Meaningful Solutions to Maternal Mortality-Doula Care and Coverage at St. Joseph’s University.  

Cephas requested the hearing to discuss what more the state can do to reduce maternal deaths and provide stronger support for doula care. Testifiers and lawmakers looked at definitions of maternal mortality, rates and causes and discussed best practices and solutions to reducing mortality rates. Cephas was joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“I want to thank all of today’s testifiers for providing great insight into how we can come together to improve maternal care and reduce maternal mortality. When we have open dialogue about the causes and drivers of these issues, we can better craft solutions that will ensure healthy moms and healthy babies,” explained Cephas. “In the United States, maternal mortality is on the rise, as it declines in every other developed country. We need to make sure medical professionals are fully educated and prepared to handle potential complications and that women aren’t afraid to speak up if something seems to be going wrong.”

Sturla added: “In the developed world, the United States has the worst rate of maternal deaths. We need to make sure we’re encouraging women to seek the care they need and that medical professionals are prepared to handle and listen to those needs.”

The committee heard testimony from Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health; Marianne Fray, CEO, Maternity Care Coalition; Dr. Jason Baxter, MD, MSCP, FACOG, Member, Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee; Dr. Aasta Mehta, MD, MPP, Policy Consultant for Maternal, Child and Family Health, Philadelphia Department of Health; Lexi White, Senior Policy Manager, New Voices for Reproductive Justice; and representative from AmeriHealth Caritas.    

The meeting was one in a series held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first, good jobs, healthcare access, quality schools and jobs training, and a fair economy. Additional information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com.

Hearing testimony and video will be available at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.