In January, the online news platform, Axios, published a brief article highlighting the impacts that current economic and staffing challenges have had on rural hospitals across the United States. The issues faced by the healthcare institutions have led many located outside of city areas to begin to reduce their maternity services for expectant mothers and families. Specifically, greater than two hundred national rural hospitals have terminated provision of labor and delivery services in the past ten years, forcing families in the rural parts of the country to travel on average at least 30 minutes to find appropriate maternity care.

Families in the rural U.S. continue to face hardship in finding the necessary maternity care with 55% of the area’s hospitals not providing such services. Maternity care is an essential component of child and family wellbeing.

By Emmalyn Walenda, Policy Intern