AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas — where the rate of maternal mortality has spiked in recent years for reasons not fully understood — is poised to take an initial step toward examining the problem.

The state could soon be required to post guidelines for reporting pregnancy-related deaths. There's currently no uniform method of investigating maternal mortality, meaning some women's deaths might not have been properly referred to the medical examiner.

The proposal passed the state House on Monday, after already clearing the Senate. Under it, Texas' health department must prepare online guidelines about when maternal deaths should be investigated, how to complete death certificates, and when to perform toxicology screenings.

A study last year found that 600-plus Texas women died between 2010 and 2014 either while pregnant or within six weeks after giving birth.


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