‘We have no time to waste’: Fighting back against the maternal mortality crisis for women of color

Pennsylvania doesn’t just have a maternal mortality problem – it has a maternal mortality crisis. According to the most recent report issued by the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee, there were more than 100 maternal deaths in the commonwealth in 2018 – the most recent year for which data is available. And to illustrate the […]

Shapiro Budget Offers Progress

Early Education Advocates Warn Historic Early Childhood Staffing Shortages will Persist HARRISBURG, PA (February 6, 2024) – Today, the principal partners of Early Learning Pennsylvania (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians from birth to age five, issued the following statements regarding Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 state budget proposal. ELPA operates […]

New research reveals alarming rise in maternal morbidity and the stark disparities linked to race and income.

A new report sheds light on a dramatic increase in serious complications for moms giving birth and how the risks of complications are significantly greater for poor women and Black women. The study by the Pennsylvania Health Cost Containment Council found that from 2016 to 2022, the number of women who had maternal morbidities increased 40%. Severe […]

State Budget Fails to Significantly Invest in Early Care and Education Amid Historic Labor Shortage

HARRISBURG, PA (July 6, 2023) – Today, the principal partners of Early Learning Pennsylvania (ELPA), a statewide coalition of advocates focused on supporting young Pennsylvanians from birth to age five, issued the following statements regarding House Bill 611 that still awaits the signature of the Senate President Pro Tempore and finally Governor Shapiro to become […]

Pa. will require hospitals to track pregnancy and birth-related health complications

The Pennsylvania Department of Health will soon be required to track the health issues that mothers go through during pregnancy and birth, as part of an effort to address the state’s high maternal death rates. The General Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk last week that would require the Department of Health […]

Pa. set to study pregnancy and birth complications, with goal of healthier outcomes

Sen. Judy Schwank of Berks County touted a package of bills aimed at addressing the issues that lead to poor pregnancy and birth outcomes. One of them is now poised to become law. The measure intends to improve how the state gathers data on different health conditions and environmental factors that lead to risky pregnancies […]

Pa. House unanimously passes bill combating maternal morbidity

A bill to combat Pennsylvania’s high maternal morbidity rate unanimously passed the state House this week, and now heads to Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s desk for final approval. The bill, which was reintroduced this session by state Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, adds “severe maternal morbidity” to the list of reportable events within the Pennsylvania Department of Health. “Accurate and regular […]

5 takeaways from AP’s series on health disparities impacting Black Americans

Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States — 69.9 per 100,000 live births for 2021, almost three times the rate for white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2021 rate was a significant increase from the prior year. Black babies are also more likely to die, and also far […]

Pennsylvania doulas can now get funding to apply for a state certificate

A nonprofit collaborating with state agencies and lawmakers is trying to expand doula services. The goal is to reduce the state’s maternal mortality rate, especially in communities of color, where that rate tends to be higher. Doulas, who are non-medical professionals who provide emotional, physical and educational support to patients during pregnancy, are not part […]

US maternal death rate rose sharply in 2021, CDC data shows, and experts worry the problem is getting worse

As women continue to die due to pregnancy or childbirth each year in the United States, new federal data shows that the nation’s maternal death rate rose significantly yet again in 2021, with the rates among Black women more than twice as high as those of White women. Experts said the United States’ ongoing maternal mortality crisis […]