This chart shows we’re doing some really wrong

Excellent Vox article on the appalling stats of maternal death in the U.S. and how California has dramatically reduced the problem by taking it seriously, unless the rest of the nation.  Here’s the key and super-disturbing chart:

So, what do the researchers have to say:

Yet other developed countries have seen similar health trends in rising childbirth age and bodyweight — without the accompanying increased death risk for mothers.

That’s led researchers like Boston University maternal health expert Eugene Declercq to conclude that a key driver of America’s maternal mortality problem is that America doesn’t value women.

“The argument we make internationally is that [a high maternal death rate] is often a reflection of how the society views women,” he says. “In other countries, we worry about the culture — women are not particularly valued, so they don’t set up systems to care for them at all. I think we have a similar problem in the US.” [emphases mine]

Policies and funding dollars tend to focus on babies, not the women who bring them into the world…

Still, California has demonstrated that even in our messy and imperfect health care system, progress is possible. They’ve shown the rest of the country what happens when people care about and organize around women’s health. Policymakers owe it to the 4 million babies born in the US each year, and their mothers, to figure out how to bring that success to families across the country.

The difference between Texas and California is that California decided to take on maternal mortality, Boston’s Eugene Declercq told me.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to This chart shows we’re doing some really wrong

  1. rgbact says:

    Didn’t we already discuss how older more obese pregnant women are driving this? So the answer is more money, right? Not…”don’t be morbidly obese and 40 and have kids”

    • Mika says:

      You could every once in a while read the post you are commenting before you comment it:

      “Yet other developed countries have seen similar health trends in rising childbirth age and bodyweight — without the accompanying increased death risk for mothers.”

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