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Cuomo announces taskforce for maternal mortality

Deaths of expectant mothers is the target of a new initiative handed down from Albany.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the start of the  Taskforce on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes. It addresses the issue of racial disparities in expectant mothers.

The measure expands community outreach, increases access to prenatal and perinatal care. It also features a pilot program that offers a doula service to Medicaid recipients.

LuAnne Brown is the CEO of the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network. She says doulas aren’t really accessible to lower income or minority mothers.

“There’s only a couple states that provide reimbursement, so basically people are playing out of pocket for it, which isn’t an issue if your wealthy and you want somebody to provide help for you when you go home," she said.  "But, impoverished moms don’t have those resources."

New York State ranks 46th in the nation-- for maternal mortality rates. Nationally, African American women are four times more likely, than whites, to die in child birth. In New York State African American women are three times more likely to die.

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