Reducing this country’s maternal mortality rate

U.S. Senator Tim Scott says he is helping to lead a bipartisan effort for increased focus on reducing maternal mortality in the United States and improving health outcomes for mothers and children. In a letter to Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 14 Republican and Democratic senators requested that the Department and Agency prioritize developing strategies to reduce maternal mortality rates, including for pregnant women and mothers enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. South Carolina’s maternal mortality rate is specifically higher than the national average, with 26.5 deaths for 100,000 live births as opposed to 20.7 nationwide. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Palmetto State’s maternal mortality rate is the eighth highest in the country. The Centers for Disease Control also found that between 2011 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate for black women was significantly higher, with a gap of more than 40 deaths per 100,000 live births. The senators highlighted the racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and infant health in the United States. For instance, African-American women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as compared to other women in the United States. American Indian and Alaskan Native women also fare worse than white women with approximately twice as many pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births.