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elevated risk

Maternal mortality rates could rise for minorities without Roe, experts warn

Adding to concerns about the risks of pregnancy in the U.S., the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday and The Guardian says "without abortion access for those who need it, there will likely be more deaths." 

"There are going to be more people who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term," said Rachel Hardeman, a reproductive health equity professor and researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

The U.S. currently has the highest maternal mortality rate compared to other developed countries and it is continuing to rise. The Guardian notes that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that "[f]or every 100,000 births, 23.8 people died from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes in 2020."

NAACP general counsel Janette McCarthy says while this is an attack on all women, "Black women stand to be disproportionately impacted," Reuters writes. The CDC confirmed that Black women are 2.9 times more likely to die from pregnancy than non-Hispanic white women.

What is causing the deaths? Not having proper medical care during pregnancy has an impact on maternal mortality. The March of Dimes says this is even worse in rural areas where there's limited access to obstetric providers, or even worse, in "maternity care deserts" where there are no hospitals or birth centers at all. 

Many experts predict that access to adequate health care will become an even larger issue as access to abortion is restricted.