With the goal of reducing incidents of maternal mortality in New Jersey, Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Raj Mukherji, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Shavonda Sumter released the following statements on their bill (A-1862) to create a Maternal Mortality Review Committee to study causes and rates of maternal death in the state, which was signed into law on Wednesday.
Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington): “It’s heartbreaking to think that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, and it’s also unacceptable. The Commission created under this new law will help us further understand why our mothers are dying at such a high rate, and how we can change that. We owe it not only to our mothers, but to their partners and children to make New Jersey a leader in women’s health.”
Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson): “New Jersey’s maternal mortality rate is almost double the national average, with 37.3 pregnancy-associated or pregnancy-related deaths for every 100,000 live births. It is imperative that we figure out why New Jersey mothers are dying at an unprecedented rate in a state with high-quality healthcare. Collecting and investigating the data will enable us to develop solutions to prevent further tragedy.”
Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen): “Information and knowledge are the only way to combat this overlooked tragedy. In order to tackle this problem head-on, we must first understand why and how this is a problem. Then we can determine how to promote best practices in maternal care for all New Jersey mothers.”
Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic): “These maternal mortality rates are extremely unsettling. This Commission will allow us to look closely as to what could be causing them. I’m interested in hearing directly from the community as part of the public hearings – all of this will help us gain better insight on how we can reverse this disturbing trend.”
The measure passed the full Assembly in March, 79-0-1.