The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is offering a new program to help find out why so many pregnant women and new mothers are dying in the state.

Alabama's maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the nation. The ADPH Maternal Mortality Review Committee determines the cause of death, contributing factors and studies preventability.

The leading causes of maternal deaths from 2018-2019 were infection, cardiovascular and hemorrhage, and 15 of 24 deaths that were pregnancy-related were determined to be preventable.

The committee is implementing the Maternal Autopsy Program to gain greater insight into the cause of these deaths in Alabama.

The program will be available to families in Baldwin, Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, Mobile, Montgomery, Shelby and Walker Counties but will expand statewide. The autopsies will be performed free of charge at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama.

The ADPH hopes more information can lead to a reduction in maternal mortality.

2018-2019_annual_mmr by Erica Thomas on Scribd

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning or become a member to gain access to exclusive content and 1819 News merch.