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New Arizona law aimed at preventing maternal deaths

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Arianna Dodde gave birth to healthy baby boy last August. This was her third child.

Three days later, the 23-year-old was released from the hospital but had to be readmitted. She had a torn uterus, and that caused internal bleeding. She went into cardiac arrest and died.

“Ariana was completely healthy,” her father, Vicente Garcia, said. “The whole family, friends, all of us were 100 percent confident that she was going to go into this and deliver a healthy baby boy.”

In Arizona, an estimated 25 women died for every 100,000 live births from 2012 through 2015, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. About 89 percent of those deaths were preventable.

Gov. Doug Ducey is hoping to reduce those numbers.

On Friday, he participated in a ceremonial signing of a new law aimed at researching how Arizona can prevent women from dying while pregnant and after childbirth.

SB 1040 requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to appoint members to a committee that will collect information on the causes of maternal deaths and make recommendations.

“This bill marks an important step in saving lives and ensuring healthy mothers in the state of Arizona,” Ducey said.

The governor signed the bill alongside state Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, who sponsored it, and members of the Arizona chapter of March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

The new legislation is named Arianna’s Law after Dodde. Her father said he’s humbled and grateful for that.

“I just hope that at the end of the day this is going to end up saving lives,” he said.

“I don’t want another dad to lose a child,” he added. “I don’t want a husband to go through being a widower. I don’t want children to grow up without a mom.”

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