Opinion: The Number Of Maternal Deaths Is Out Of Control, Here’s Why

The maternal death rate is high due to alarming levels of anti-choice laws and healthcare regulations that severely limit access to reproductive health services for pregnant women.

By Trista Sobeck | Published

Maternal death

As women in the United States fight for fundamental human rights like bodily autonomy and equal pay, the rate of maternal deaths during childbirth has increased. Black women are exponentially more likely to die than white women. This is putting systematic racism into full view. 

Despite all of the advances in medical technology, maternal deaths have increased. This can be attributed to alarming levels of anti-choice laws and healthcare regulations that severely limit access to reproductive health services for pregnant women. 

According to CNN, the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate of any developed nation. This announcement comes on the heels of Texas legislators attempting to pass a bill that would allow doctors and hospitals to deny life-saving abortions even when medically necessary. This violation of women’s rights would further endanger the lives of pregnant women 

Women should be able to make decisions about their own health and safety. This includes access to birth control, comprehensive sex education, and medically accurate information about sexual health. This is a solid way to help prevent maternal deaths.

We must also stand in solidarity with those fighting for the right to make decisions about their health. By supporting reproductive rights, we can help ensure that all pregnant women of all backgrounds across the country have access to healthcare. This is the healthcare they need without fear of discrimination or criminalization.

Holding elected leaders accountable is another way to prevent maternal deaths. We must demand that they take action to ensure access to quality and affordable healthcare, including access to birth control and abortion services.

Maternal deaths are also increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When a vaccination first came out, pregnant mothers were unsure if it could possibly be safe for their unborn baby. We need to create better access to information about vaccines and other medical treatments so pregnant mothers can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. 

By the time it felt “safe” to get a COVID-19 vaccine, thousands of women had already died, adding to the maternal death rate. We must make sure to increase access to these vaccines and provide accurate information about their safety for pregnant and postpartum mothers.

Furthermore, we should work to reduce the cost of medical care for those who are unable to afford it. Many women are unable to receive adequate prenatal or postnatal care due to financial restrictions.  We must increase access to these services so that pregnant women can have the best possible care during pregnancy and beyond. 

We also need to ensure that all medical providers are well-informed on the latest evidence-based treatments for pregnant women. This will help reduce any unnecessary risks for mothers and babies alike. By working together, we can make sure that every mother and baby receive the best care possible.  

We must also ensure that healthcare providers have a comprehensive understanding of the specific needs of pregnant women and assure women they are free to talk about their options freely. This includes educating providers on the differing needs of each individual patient, as well as ensuring appropriate screening for conditions such as diabetes and gestational hypertension.

When pregnant women have access to the necessary support services, the maternal deaths can start to decline. This includes providing mental health resources, nutrition counseling, and other services that can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period.