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Ohio must do better in caring for pregnant women

Many — approximately 57% — of the nearly 200 Ohio women who died from pregnancy-related causes during the past eight years could have been saved, a new state report concludes.

Combine that information with reports indicating the state has the eighth-worst infant mortality rate in the nation; and that black women died at nearly two-and-a-half times the rate of white women, and it is clear Ohio is not doing enough to protect both mothers and babies.

In fact, both the infant mortality and pregnancy-related death rates are significantly higher for black women and babies.

Of course, those deaths affect more than just one or two people.

“There are a lot of moms that passed during this period. And that has had a profound effect on their families,” Dr. David McKenna, maternal fetal medicine physician at Miami Valley Hospital, told the Dayton Daily News.

State officials have been working for years to do better in keeping both infants and pregnant women alive. Clearly, whatever has been tried in the recent past has not worked well enough.

Last month, the Ohio Department of Health got $12 million in federal funding to address the maternal mortality rate. Let us hope it is put to good use.

The Buckeye State simply has to do better.

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