Statehouse — State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) made the following statement Tuesday evening in response to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s 2021 State of the State address:
“Tonight Gov. Eric Holcomb outlined a number of priorities and goals during his State of the State address, including reducing the state’s infant mortality rate. In 2019, I authored Senate Enrolled Act 278, which established local fetal mortality review teams to review fetal and infant deaths across the state in order to improve community resources and systems of care. As a result, the Indiana General Assembly and Gov. Holcomb have been able to more accurately implement positive change in high-risk areas.
Unfortunately, Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is nearly twice as high as the national rate, with more than 86% of pregnancy-associated deaths occurring postpartum. This session, I authored legislation to amend the definition of ‘maternal mortality’ to include deaths of pregnant women from any cause, which would provide the state with more information to improve infant and maternal outcomes – just as the fetal-mortality reviews did for improving our state’s infant mortality rate.
As a retired nurse and member of the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services, I remain committed to advancing health policies that address and improve outcomes for Indiana residents. I look forward to working with my peers in the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives to pass this legislation and am optimistic that this bill will address both infant and maternal outcomes.”