In his first budget address to state lawmakers last week, Gov. Josh Shapiro said that “for the first time” the commonwealth is going to put “real resources” into studying the root causes of Pennsylvania’s high maternal mortality rate, which is three times higher for Black women.
A 2022 report from the Pennsylvania Maternal Mortality Review Committee, which reviews all maternal deaths in the commonwealth, found that Pennsylvania had an overall pregnancy-associated mortality ratio (PAMR) of 82 deaths per 100,000 live births. Non-Hispanic Blacks had the highest PAMR of 163 per 100,000 live births.
“Here in this Commonwealth, and throughout the country, rates of maternal mortality are rising,” Shapiro said. “We shouldn’t accept that. … We can’t accept that.”