Virginia seeks drop in black women’s maternal death rate

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced a new goal to lower the maternal mortality rate for black women.

Northam said Wednesday that he’s set a goal of eliminating the racial disparity of in mortality rates by 2025. The governor said the maternal mortality rate for black women is more than twice as high as it is for white women.

Northam said he’s directing state agencies to expedite enrollment of eligible pregnant women in Medicaid.

Northam pledged to focus on addressing Virginia’s longstanding history of racial inequity after a blackface scandal nearly forced him from office in February.

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