News Release: Georgia Senate
ATLANTA (April 21, 2014) | Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 273 into law on Wednesday, April 16, at Valdosta Regional Airport. Sponsored by Senator Dean Burke (R—Bainbridge), this legislation requires the Department of Public Health to establish a Maternal Mortality Review Committee for the purposes of reviewing and developing strategies to prevent maternal deaths in Georgia.
“According to public health officials, Georgia has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the United States,” said Sen. Burke. “As the nation’s rate continues to rise, Georgia is making a stand by exploring solutions to this serious public health concern through the creation of the review committee. I am thankful for Governor Deal and my colleague’s support on this bill and look forward to working toward permanent, long-lasting solutions for Georgia mothers.”
As defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maternal mortality revolves around the death of a woman while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy termination. In Georgia, maternal deaths have been inadequately documented in the past, therefore preventing efforts to identify and reduce or eliminate the causes of death.
The information collected by the committee will remain confidential, except for the narrow purpose of review by the Committee. Reports will be distributed to the General Assembly, health care providers and facilities, key government agencies and others necessary to reduce the maternal death rate.