ALBANY, N.Y. (WRGB) - The New York state task force on maternal mortality has released a new report.
It finds the number of pregnant women who are losing their lives in New York each year actually went up over the past decade.
Some causes of death in the study were medical - with patients suffering from embolisms, hemorrhages or infections. Other causes were not related to the pregnancies themselves - some women suffered from substance abuse issues, some were killed, or others took their own lives.
The task force says the data shows racial and economic disparities. The report says black women in New York state are still two to three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.
The task force is calling for action. They want hospital staff to be educated on implicit racial bias - that's bias those workers are not even aware they are harboring.
They want more diversity in hospital staff - and among midwives - and they are calling for scholarship and loan forgiveness programs to promote that.
They want better women to have access to birth preparedness services and post-partum care.
They also want more studies and more reviews, so state leaders can continue learning about this very important issue.