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California Legislature Approves Bill To Reduce Maternal Mortality Rate For Black Women

The California State Capitol in the early evening in Sacramento, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.
Associated Press
The California State Capitol in the early evening in Sacramento, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016.
California has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the country, according to the United Health Foundation. Black women in California, however, continue to die in pregnancy-related deaths at a rate three to four times higher than white women. The disparity can’t be explained by education, income or prenatal care.

California has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the country, according to the United Health Foundation's health rankings.

But black women in California continue to die at a rate three to four times higher than white women from pregnancy or delivery complications.

RELATED: Why Racial Gaps In Maternal Mortality Persist

Several advocacy groups believe racial bias in the health care system in to blame. To address the disparity, California lawmakers approved Senate Bill 464, the California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act. The legislation, which is expected to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, will require implicit bias training for perinatal healthcare providers.

The bill would also require the state to track and publish data on maternal mortality rates.

Raena Granberry, a program manager with the advocacy group "Black Women For Wellness," joined Midday Edition to talk about how the legislation could help reduce pregnancy-related deaths among black women.