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Editorial, New York Daily News (TNS)

Gov. Cuomo did New York’s women a vital service last week signing legislation creating a new maternal mortality review board, a panel of experts that will examine why so many mothers still die from pregnancy-related complications in New York State.

Despite abundant American medical know-how and the fact we spend more on health care than any other developed nation, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has been growing over the past decade.

And New York, the nation’s health-care capital, has a rate worse than that of 29 other states. Women here are likelier to die from pregnancy-related complications than they were 15 years ago.

Scandal within a scandal: Black women here are three times likelier than whites to die during childbirth.

Why? It’s not just about poverty and education levels. New York’s college-educated pregnant black women are still likelier to die from complications than white women who never graduated high school. Healthy weight black women are likelier to die from pregnancy-related problems than obese women of every other race and ethnicity.

Women who give birth in New York hospitals that serve largely black populations are 21% likelier to experience complications during childbirth than if they’d gone to a hospital frequented by white people. Yikes.

The new review board’s power lies in its ability to gather critical details on every death, pinpointing commonalities, identifying causes and ultimately developing recommendations to save lives. Lives that can be spent, among other things, raising beautiful and healthy children.

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