YWCA believes that all people should have equal access to timely, quality maternal health care services, including family planning services. The reality, however, is that disparate access to quality, accessible, and culturally-appropriate health care is a driving factor in the tremendous racial disparities in maternal health outcomes in the U.S.
Is maternal mortality still a problem in the US?
While maternal mortality rates have been decreasing worldwide, in the U.S., the rate at which women die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth has increased over the last 15 years. In addition, each year, tens of thousands of additional women suffer "severe maternal morbidity," complications of pregnancy or childbirth so severe that they almost die. Within this broader context, women of color experience even higher rates of maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity.
YWCA supports efforts to improve maternal health outcomes for women of color. To this end, YWCA supports legislation and public policy at the federal, state, and local levels that addresses racial health disparities by reducing maternal mortality and improving access to quality maternal health services.