AB 508 (Cristina Garcia), as amended on January 21, 2016, would require the State Department of Public Health to publish an annual report on maternal mortality, which would include offering suggestions for improvements in care.
AAP Positional Letter
January 25, 2016
The Honorable Cristina Garcia
California State Assembly
State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249
RE: AB 508 (Cristina Garcia): Public Health: Maternal Health
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assembly Member Garcia:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAPCA), representing the 5,000 board-certified pediatrician members of all four CA AAP chapters statewide, strongly supports your proposed legislation AB 508 (C. Garcia). This bill would require the California Department of Public Health to publish an annual report on maternal mortality and morbidity in California.
California has made significant progress in reducing maternal mortality in recent years, but there is work to be done. Troublesome inequities in resources and treatment continue to cause unnecessary suffering among not only California mothers, but also their children and families. It is our most vulnerable residents who are most often profoundly affected by insufficient care. The need to remedy this disparity responsibly and effectively requires data.
AB 508 (C. Garcia) would advance the cause of maternal health by requiring the California Department of Public Health to gather information and publish reports on deaths and complications related to pregnancy, including the demographics of affected patients, descriptions of underlying causes and contributing factors, and suggestions for improvements in care. This report would allow obstetric hospitals to better identify best practices for maternal care. Moreover, policymakers would be able to more effectively structure policies that support mothers’ health as a result of accessing the comprehensive information these reports would provide.
Pediatricians strongly support your proposed legislation AB 508. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and well being of children, youth, and families in California.
AAP-CA Stage Government Affairs Chair