Oklahoma legislation would make maternal mortality death data easier to compile
Oklahoma ranks among the worst states in the country for maternal mortality, but data on those deaths is difficult to compile. A bill making its way through the Legislature now could make it easier.
There are a host of reasons getting those statistics has been hard. Both the federal and state government rely on death certificate information. Those certificates can take several months to be released.
The State Department of Health oversees a committee that reviews maternal mortality. They look at all death records for women between the ages of 10 and 59 to see if the medical provider indicated a pregnancy-related condition in the certificate.
Rep. Cynthia Roe authored House Bill 2152, which passed out of its first committee hearing on Tuesday.
"This would require a hospital or birthing center to report these deaths in a timely fashion, so they can be investigated," said Roe.
It would also order the medical examiner to investigate all deaths of women who were either pregnant or had delivered a baby within the past year.