HARRISBURG, PA — On Tuesday, SB 262, sponsored by Senator Judy Schwank (D-11th), passed the Pennsylvania Senate by a vote of 50-0. Schwank’s bill is part of a legislative package on maternal mortality. SB 262 adds “severe maternal morbidity” to the list of reportable events within the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This change will allow Pennsylvania to gather data on short and long-term health complications from childbirth.
“We are living through a maternal mortality and morbidity crisis,” Schwank said. “We can do so much better than we are right now, and we have to start treating this crisis with urgency. SB 262 is a step in the right direction and will provide us with the information we need to better understand the scale of this problem.”
SB 262 is the companion to legislation introduced by Rep. Morgan Cephas in past sessions and has the support of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus. Schwank said she believes the House of Representatives will quickly take up the bill and send it to Gov. Shapiro’s desk to be signed into law.
“I’m very confident my colleagues in the House will waste little time advancing this bill through committee and get it to the governor’s desk,” Schwank said. “Maternal morbidity and mortality touch the lives of far too many Pennsylvanians. It’s incumbent on us to search for solutions at the state level. Getting SB 262 passed and signed into law is an important first step.”