Maternal deaths fall across globe but rise in US, doubling in Texas

Story highlights

  • US maternal mortality trends are up, unlike in the rest of the world
  • The rate of US pregnancy-related deaths has especially gone up in Texas

This story, published in 2016, highlighted Texas statistics on maternal deaths, which surged between 2010 and 2012. In 2018, a separate study found that the 2016 study's figures were inflated by nearly two-thirds.

(CNN)The good news is that maternal mortality rates are declining worldwide. The bad news? The situation for women in the United States is a glaring exception. And in Texas, where clinics serving women have shuttered and their health interests have been battled all the way up to the US Supreme Court, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths more than doubled over the course of two years.

These are some of the findings in a new study (PDF) in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The authors set out to analyze maternal mortality trends in part because the United States government has not published official data on this subject since 2007, they said, calling that fact an "international embarrassment."
One of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals sought a 75% reduction in pregnancy-related deaths from 1990 to 2015. Just as the world turned its attention to this matter with marked success, the United States stopped offering data and began moving backward. Funding challenges and a tangled mess of inconsistent measurements may have been to blame for the lack of information, the authors said.