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California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 123630.1

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The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Every person should be entitled to dignity and respect during and after pregnancy and childbirth. Patients should receive the best care possible regardless of their race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language proficiency, nationality, immigration status, gender expression, or religion.

(b) The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. About 700 women die each year from childbirth, and another 50,000 suffer from severe complications. In California, since 2006, the rate of maternal death has decreased 55 percent, in contrast to the steady increase in the United States as a whole.

(c) However, for women of color, particularly Black women, the maternal mortality rate remains three to four times higher than White women. Black women make up 5 percent of the pregnancy cohort in California, but 21 percent of the pregnancy-related deaths.

(d) Forty-one percent of all pregnancy-related deaths had a good to strong chance of preventability. California has a responsibility to decrease the number of preventable pregnancy-related deaths.

(e) Pregnancy-related deaths among Black women are also more likely to be miscoded. Thirty-five percent of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women in California were miscoded, misidentifying pregnancy-related deaths as other deaths.

(f) Access to prenatal care, socioeconomic status, and general physical health do not fully explain the disparity seen in Black women's maternal mortality and morbidity rates. There is a growing body of evidence that Black women are often treated unfairly and unequally in the health care system.

(g) Implicit bias is a key cause that drives health disparities in communities of color. At present, health care providers in California are not required to undergo any implicit bias testing or training. Nor does there exist any system to track the number of incidents where implicit prejudice and implicit stereotypes have led to negative birth and maternal health outcomes.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature to reduce the effects of implicit bias in pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care so that all people are treated with dignity and respect by their health care providers.

Cite this article: - California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 123630.1 - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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