U.S. Moms Dying at Alarming Rate

Every day in the U.S., two women die of problems related to pregnancy or childbirth -- a number which has been rising. Maternal mortality rates in California tripled between 1996 and 2006, from 5.6 deaths per 100,000 births to close to 17.  Nationally, the rate rose from 7.6 per 100,000 to 13.3 per 100,000.

For each death, there are also about 50 instances of complications related to pregnancy or childbirth that are life-threatening or cause permanent damage. These "near misses" rose 25 percent from the late 1990’s to 2005.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Though the U.S. spends more per birth than any other nation, maternal mortality is higher here than in 40 other industrialized countries, including Croatia, Hungary and Macedonia, and is double that of Canada and much of Western Europe.”

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