US Maternal Death Rates Continue Climbing

Picture of Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler

US expenses on childbirth outstrips all industrialized nations while ranking almost dead last in pregnancy death rates. Since 1987 pregnancy death rates have climbed from 7.2 to 17.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the increased pregnancy mortality rate reasons aren’t known. CDC statistics show per 100,000 live births 12.1 white women will die, 40.4 black women and 16.4 women of other races will die. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) says these numbers are appalling, no shit.

A National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH) study found location and quality of hospitals are primary drivers of black mortality rates. Some states stand out as offenders in mortality deaths. In New York and Texas if you’re black and pregnant, say your prayers, the death rate is 10-15 times higher than that of white women.

Rep. Beutler has introduced “H.R.1318-Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017” in order to stave off this growing pregnancy death crisis. The bill is bipartisan aiming to establish Maternal Mortality Review Committees (MMRC’s) in every state. MMRC’s will streamline state data collection efforts, conduct root cause analysis for identified issues and identify funding sources needed to implement recommendations. More can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1318/text