Improve Maternal Health Outcomes for Black & Native Oregonians

The U.S. is facing a maternal health crisis. We have higher rates of maternal deaths than 45 other countries and we are the only developed country in the world with consistently rising maternal mortality rates. In fact, rates of maternal death have doubled in the last decade. This crisis overwhelmingly affects Black women and Native American women, who together are three to four times more likely than white women of dying from complications during childbirth.

While Oregon has long been a leader in creating access to healthcare, Oregon’s mamas of color continue to face overwhelming barriers to healthy birth outcomes. In Oregon, the number of maternal deaths has ranged from 4 to 12 per year. These numbers likely under-count actual deaths by at least one third, and do not account for the approximately 50 women a year who suffer severe health complications from pregnancy, labor, and delivery that bring them close to death. Out of all 50 states, Oregon ranked number 25 in maternal harm. We can do better.

Forward Together Action will host a legislative briefing featuring the latest in research, care provision and community approaches.

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