Some researchers say the Supreme Court’s move overturning Roe v. Wade could have a negative impact on maternal health.
This as new research shows the national rate of maternal mortality increased 18% between 2019 and 2020, and nearly 17% in 2020, the year the pandemic first struck.
And the rates of Black and Latino women dying during or within 42 days of pregnancy were even higher.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2020 the U.S. had 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, while France, which follows the U.S., only had 8.7 deaths per 100,000 live births. New Zealand only had 1.7 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Dr. Sadia Haider, director of the Division of Family Planning at Rush University Medical Center, blames the health and social inequities that exist across the health care system in the U.S.
“We have identified factors that contribute to this, including lack of access to quality and comprehensive reproductive healthcare, structural racism, bias within our health care system and lack of general continuity of care,” Haider said.
Dr. Erica Hinz, associate professor and doctor of obstetrics and gynecology for the University of Illinois Chicago, points out that in the U.S., the leading causes of death among people giving birth are cardiovascular conditions, infection and high blood loss.
“My fear as an OBGYN, and one who specializes in this care, is that with the banning of abortion in the United States happening all round us, that unsafe abortion will become one of the factors contributing to maternal mortality similar to pre-Roe,” Hinz said.