This past August, Arianna Dodde gave birth to a healthy baby boy; Adrian. Three days after delivery, Arianna was released and later that night she passed away. It was discovered in an autopsy that doctors had missed a uterine tear and that this otherwise healthy Mom had bled to death, leaving not only her newborn son, but also 2 other young children behind.

This tragic story hit very close to home for our group, not just as parents and grandparents ourselves, but also because Vicente & Leticia Garcia (Father and Stepmother to Arianna) are very active members of our group.

Vicente was especially excited to welcome his first grandson home last August. “I was just waiting for her to be like, ‘OK, we’re ready, come over. I never got that call,” he said. “To be quite honest with you, I still don’t understand,” Vicente said. “It makes no sense.”

This frustration was the catalyst for Leticia to research the topic and she was shocked by what she found. Although the United States is home to some of the most advanced obstetric and emergency care found on Earth, we still rank 47th for maternal mortality rate globally and have the highest percentage of maternal deaths of any developed nation. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much data that explained the “why”. Leticia reached out to one of our groups supporters, also a Sunnyslope neighbor, LD 28 Senator Kate Brophy McGee. Senator McGee was saddened by the story and being on the Health and Human Services Committee, was determined to help.

Senator McGee is sponsoring Bill SB1040, which will now be called Arianna’s Law. The bill would require the State to collect and analyze more information an.d provide the information annually. “I am so proud of the work I was able to do with the Department of Health Services to draft the bill, ensuring more than a report as a final outcome. Now we will very quickly get up-to-date data on maternal mortality and mor­bidity rates, and there will be recommendations for healthcare providers to implement.” McGee said.

The March of Dimes has lobbied along with the Gar­cia’s and McGee to get this bill passed. SB1040 has made it through the Rules Committee and is awaiting a final vote in the House. Since an amendment was added in the House Committee where the bill was heard, it has to come back to the Senate, where McGee will concur. From there, it will get a final vote in the Senate and go up to the Governor for his sig­nature. “It was a challenge to get it out of Rules Committee, and it is a challenge getting it to the House Floor for a vote. If that happens, then Ari­anna’s Law will be just about there.” McGee said.

“The work that Vicente and Leticia have done with the March of Dimes has been amazing to watch.” said McGee. “It means the world to change outcomes with legislation, and SB1040 will do that. In some way, we can make sense of a terrible tragedy and be comforted that future tragedies can be prevented.”

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