Latta Asks Experts About Increase of Deaths Due to Pregnancy-related Complications
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) asked March of Dimes President Stacey Stewart about maternal mortality and the risk to women in rural communities at an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing this morning. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has a high maternal mortality rate and that half of the U.S. deaths were preventable. Other studies have shown pregnancy-related mortality on the rise in the U.S. over the last two decades.
Latta asked, “I’m also concerned for soon-to-be-mothers and new moms who live in rural areas of our country. National data indicates that more than half of all rural U.S. counties are without hospital obstetric services. With an increase of women dying due to pregnancy-related complications, how does access to care and hospital services affect pregnancies and postpartum recovery? And, is this issue exacerbated for women in rural communities?”
Stewart said many “maternity care deserts” that require women to travel to receive pregnancy care, and the closing of hospitals in rural areas, has been well documented and affect the quality of care women are able to receive.
Latta also asked Dr. Lynne Coslett-Charlton, an OBYGN, about the impact that the opioid misuse crisis has had on maternal mortality. Dr. Coslett-Charlton said the impact is very significant, and that is why solutions to improve maternal mortality rates need to include mental health professionals and others.
Watch Latta’s questions here.