Maternal Mortality Review

More than two women in the United States die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.1 The rate of maternal deaths in the United States has been rising, doubling from 6.6 deaths per 100,000 births in1996 to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births in 2006.2 However, approximately half of these deaths could be prevented if maternal health care access and quality were improved.3

There are a number of factors that have led to the current state of maternal health, including unequal access, gaps in care, systemic failures, and financial, bureaucratic and language hurdles.4 There has been very little oversight of maternal health trends and a lack of documentation of maternal risk factors, which has made it difficult to implement consistent evidence-based standards.5 In response to these patterns, a number of states have set up maternal mortality review committees. While these committees vary in their approach, they maintain a common goal: to track maternal health patterns and effective develop responsive solutions to address the rising rate of maternal mortality.

Does the state have a maternal mortality review board?

States receive a "meets policy" if they have established a maternal mortality review board. States that have a maternal mortality review board in development receive a "limited policy." States that do not have a maternal mortality review board receive a "no policy."

This is a new indicator for the 2010 Report Card.

State Strength of Policy Change from 2007
Alabama No Policy N/A
Alaska Meets Policy N/A
Arizona No Policy N/A
Arkansas No Policy N/A
California Meets Policy N/A
Colorado Meets Policy N/A
Connecticut No Policy N/A
Delaware No Policy N/A
District of Columbia No Policy N/A
Florida Meets Policy N/A
Georgia No Policy N/A
Hawaii No Policy N/A
Idaho No Policy N/A
Illinois Meets Policy N/A
Indiana Meets Policy N/A
Iowa Meets Policy N/A
Kansas No Policy N/A
Kentucky No Policy N/A
Louisiana Meets Policy N/A
Maine Meets Policy N/A
Maryland Meets Policy N/A
Massachusetts Meets Policy N/A
Michigan Meets Policy N/A
Minnesota No Policy N/A
Mississippi No Policy N/A
Missouri Limited Policy N/A
Montana No Policy N/A
Nebraska No Policy N/A
Nevada No Policy N/A
New Hampshire No Policy N/A
New Jersey Meets Policy N/A
New Mexico No Policy N/A
New York Meets Policy N/A
North Carolina Meets Policy N/A
North Dakota No Policy N/A
Ohio No Policy N/A
Oklahoma Meets Policy N/A
Oregon No Policy N/A
Pennsylvania No Policy N/A
Rhode Island No Policy N/A
South Carolina Limited Policy N/A
South Dakota No Policy N/A
Tennessee No Policy N/A
Texas No Policy N/A
Utah Meets Policy N/A
Vermont No Policy N/A
Virginia Meets Policy N/A
Washington Meets Policy N/A
West Virginia Meets Policy N/A
Wisconsin Meets Policy N/A
Wyoming No Policy N/A

Policy Indicator Counts
Meets Policy: 
Limited Policy: 
Weak Policy: 
No/Harmful Policy: 

Data Source: Amnesty International, "Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA," 2010, available at, accessed September 8, 2010.


1 M. Heron et al, Deaths: Final Data for 2006, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 57, No. 14: Table 34, April 2009 available at, accessed September 23, 2010.
2 Office of Minority Health, “Changing Outcomes–Achieving Health Equity. The National Plan for Action,” December 2009, available at, accessed September 23, 2010.
3 S.J. Bacak et al (eds.), State Maternal Mortality Review–Accomplishments of Nine States (Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006) 1.
4 Amnesty International, “Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA,” March 2010, available at, accessed September 23, 2010.
5 Amnesty International, Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA (March 2010), available at, accessed September 23, 2010.

  • print