ATLANTA, Ga. — The National Center for Health Statistics reported Wednesday the U.S. maternal mortality rate rose in 2020 to the highest level in 50 years.
According to the NCHS, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the maternal mortality rate in the United States was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. For comparison, the maternal death rate in Canada in 2002 was 7.5 per 100,000.
Maternal deaths increased the last three years from 17.4 in 2018 to 2020’s rate of 23.8. The numbers were worse for Black women who were three times more likely to die than white women, the data showed.
For non-Hispanic Black women, the maternal mortality rate was 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, nearly 3 times the rate for non-Hispanic White women. Rates also increased with age with maternal mortality rates for women over aged 40 and over was 7.8 times higher than form women under 25.
The increase in maternal mortality comes as multiple states across the United States are enacting more restrictive abortion laws that may increase the number of pregnancies. With the maternal mortality rate continuing to rise, the U.S. could be facing a growing problem in the coming years.