Bill to probe pregnancy-related deaths clears Senate

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Legislation that would create a statewide review committee to investigate pregnancy-related deaths in Pennsylvania is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday gave unanimous approval to House Bill 1869.

The measure would establish the 14-member committee within the Department of Health. The committee would look into the deaths of expectant and new mothers to determine the cause and develop recommendations to prevent such deaths.

Sen. Lisa Baker, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said maternal mortality rates in Pennsylvania have more than doubled since 1994. She said the state needs to better identify the cause of pregnancy-related deaths and recommend actions to prevent them.

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