U.S Falls from Top 4 of Safe Places to Have A Baby

Save the Children’s 15th annual State of the World's Mothers report ranked 178 countries by several criteria, including child and maternal mortality rates, economic status of women, and educational achievement, as well as political representation of women. (http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/cf/%7B9def2ebe-10ae-432c-9bd0-df91d2eba74a%7D/SOWM_2014_MOTHERS_INDEX.PDF) The United States has recently fallen to 31st on the Mothers’ Index, when just 15 years ago America was among the top 10 countries in the world to be a mother. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/wheres-the-best-and-worst-country-to-be-a-mom/)

Pregnant Woman Holding Her Head With One Hand and Belly With the OtherThe 2013 Census report reports that women make up about 51 percent of the population in the U.S. Approximately 4.1 million women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 50 gave birth from May 2013 to May 2014. A report done by the University of Washington found that the U.S. is among just eight countries in the world to see an increase in the maternal mortality rate since 2003. (http://national.deseretnews.com/article/1659/US-slips-in-world-ranking-as-a-great-place-to-have-a-baby.html#vMPzbtOzAeUupI0M.99)

Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, has found that while some countries made strides toward reducing the risks associated with child birth, the U.S has fallen short of improving upon some of the areas that are considered risk factors to American mothers, such as obesity, early induction, and C-section surgery. One major standard where the U.S lacks is that of equality. America’s health care system and policies are unfavorable toward those seeking maternity care. According to Miles, in 2013, 18 mothers died in the U.S. for every 100,000 live births, and that number more than triples for black women in urban America. In 2005, African-American infants suffered a death rate of 13 per every 1,000 births, which is more than twice the national average. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-steven-friedman/infant-mortality-rate-united-states_b_1620664.html) By comparison, only 7 out of every 100,000 mothers died in Saudi Arabia and Canada. (http://national.deseretnews.com/article/1659/US-slips-in-world-ranking-as-a-great-place-to-have-a-baby.html#vMPzbtOzAeUupI0M.99)

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is meant to help reform America’s healthcare system by giving more Americans access to high-quality, affordable health care, which in turn provides them with the financial protection they need. The act is meant to give health insurance coverage to the poorest of Americans according to their income eligibility. This expands Medicaid to cover roughly 15 million men, women, and children below 138% of the poverty level. However, not all states have signed on to expand Medicaid, leaving 5.7 million of our nation’s poorest without coverage options. (http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-pros-and-cons.php)

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