Opinion | Why Is It So Dangerous to Be Pregnant in America?


Compared with its peers, the United States’ trajectory in maternal health has been shameful. Solving this worsening problem requires looking not just at the quality of care a woman receives but the entire environment around her — from her access to health care to the availability of food in her community.

The Maternal Vulnerability Index uses an array of maternal health and community data — six categories in total — giving a more comprehensive picture of what’s driving risk for poor maternal health outcomes in counties across America.

The data reveals that a woman’s chance of a healthy pregnancy varies greatly depending on where she lives, based on factors such as whether she has a high school diploma, her exposure to poverty, her access to OB-GYNs and midwives, and her access to abortion clinics.

How at risk are women in your county, and why? Search for your county to find out. (Higher scores indicate more risk.)

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