The Uneven Burden Of U.S. Maternal Mortality [Infographic] – Forbes

Ahead of Mother’s Day this Sunday, women in the U.S. received potentially life-altering news when Politico reported it had obtained a draft opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade.
The future of the 1973 precedent guaranteeing a right to abortion has been dominating the news all week, increasing attention on the state of pregnancy care and childbirth in the country including the uneven burden of U.S. maternal mortality.
This chart shows pregnancy-related deaths in the United States per 100,000 live births (by … [+] race/ethnicity of mother).
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Vital Statistics System, Black mothers in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related issues at disproportionately higher rates, with more than 55 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in 2020—almost triple the rate for white women.
The CDC names variation in the quality of healthcare Black people receive, the underlying chronic conditions of Black mothers, structural racism and implicit bias as reasons for why this crass disparity exists, adding that many people of color in the U.S. are prevented from “having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.”
Recently, maternal mortality among Hispanic and Black women ticked upwards, a trend that the CDC report calls “significant” between 2019 and 2020.
While the report itself does not offer more explanations on why the uptick occurred, the author told ABC News that Covid-19 is expected to have played a role. While the virus disrupted health screenings and care across the board, it has also been shown to have a more drastic effect on U.S. communities of color due to the same differences in access to care and the prevalence of chronic conditions but also owed to factors like housing and workplaces that left them more exposed.
In addition, Covid-19 has been identified as a serious risk factor for pregnant women, with a study by the University of Utah stating that pregnant Covid-19 patients were 40% more likely to fall seriously ill or die than uninfected pregnant women.
Long-term data more elusive
Long-term data for maternal deaths in the U.S. isn’t easy to come by as CDC outlets with differing methodologies have taken turns publishing the numbers. Previous to 2018, the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System put out maternal mortality data, which showed big increases in the overall death rate over time. It is, however, not clear what caused this development—while aging mother could be a factor, so are reporting changes implemented to make sure pregnancy-related deaths get reported as such.
Yet, the rival PMSS reporting did also find the same prevalence of Black maternal mortality so starkly visible in any such data out of the United States. The CDC suggests that healthcare providers should manage chronic conditions of Black mothers better, question own biases, research discrepancies in care and standardize protocols to start addressing the crisis of Black pregnancy-related deaths.

Charted by Statista