According to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of maternal deaths rose during the first year of the pandemic. Data from the National Vital Statistics System show that in 2020, 861 women were identified as having died of maternal causes in the United States, compared with 754 in 2019. The maternal mortality rate for Black women was about three times higher than White women, highlighting disparities in maternal care.
Lawmakers have been pushing to address maternal mortality rates. One example of a policy solution was in the American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Biden last year, which allowed states to extend Medicaid coverage for up to one year postpartum, instead of just 60 days.