The maternal mortality crisis continues to worsen in the United States. In 2021, over 1,200 women died as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, continuing an upward trend of over 20 years. Racial disparities in maternal outcomes persist, with Black and Indigenous birthing people dying at 2-3 times the rate of their white counterparts. Additionally, rural areas experience higher rates of maternal mortality compared to urban areas. Yet research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) using state Maternal Mortality Review Committee data indicates that at least 80% of maternal mortalities are preventable. It is imperative that we understand why deaths are occurring and enact solutions to save the lives of hundreds of birthing people each year.
Earlier this week, HealthConnect One joined the Association of Maternal and Child Health programs alongside 85 national organizations in urging Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act (H.R.3838/S.2415), which would reauthorize federal support for state-based maternal mortality review committees. These committees review pregnancy-related deaths, identify causes, and make recommendations to prevent future mortalities. The bill also requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to work with the Health Resources and Services Administration to disseminate best practices for preventing maternal mortality to hospitals and other healthcare providers. The legislation has bipartisan support and was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week.
For more information on the Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act see below.