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May 2022     Volume 16 Issue 1
Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law

Developments in the Quest to Advance Equity in Maternal and Child Health in the Age of COVID-19: The Bad, the Good, and the Promising

  • May 23, 2022
  • Andrea Ferrari , Jones Walker LLP

ABSTRACT: The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality among the world’s high-income economies.1 Based on 2020 data, it also ranks 33rd out of 36 among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s member countries in infant mortality.2 Equally concerning as the United States’ overall rates of maternal and infant mortality are disparities in the rates based on race, ethnicity, and geography. For example, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System indicate that Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women have significantly more pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births than other women giving birth in the U.S., and that these disparities exist across age groups and education levels.3

Although the COVID-19 public health emergency has in many ways worsened disparities and challenges for mothers and babies in higher-risk populations, the resulting regulatory and market changes may ultimately lead to new solutions and successes in the quest to address the issues of maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the U.S. This article will explore how and why this may be the case.


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