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New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; District of Columbia is 51st Among All States in Maternal Mortality
Date:3/11/2010

Rapid and comprehensive federal leadership is required, as the report found numerous systemic failures, including the following:

  • Burdensome bureaucratic procedures in Medicaid enrollment substantially delay access to vital prenatal care for pregnant women seeking government-funded care. Twenty-one states do not offer "presumptive eligibility" which allows pregnant women to temporarily access medical care while their permanent application for Medicaid is pending. Women who do not receive any prenatal care are three to four times more likely to die than women who do.
  • The number of deaths is significantly understated because there are no federal requirements to report maternal deaths or complications and data collection at the state level is insufficient.
  • Oversight and accountability is lacking. 29 states and the District of Columbia have no maternal death review process at all.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobili
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SOURCE Amnesty International
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