Where You Live Matters: Maternity Care Deserts and the Crisis of Access and Equity

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Families face enough obstacles. Not getting the care they need shouldn’t be one of them.

MCDR Where you live matters

Maternity care deserts are counties where there’s limited or no access to birthing hospitals, birth centers offering obstetric care, or obstetric providers. Areas with low or no access to maternal care affect over 5.6 million women and nearly 350,000 births across the U.S.

Where You Live Matters: Maternity Care Deserts and the Crisis of Access and Equity is a set of 52 comprehensive reports examining maternity care deserts and other factors that impact access to care, health outcomes, and unique barriers for all families in each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Since 2018, March of Dimes has published data on maternity care deserts across the U.S., highlighting areas with inequitable access to maternity care providers and birthing facilities. These reports represent some of the most comprehensive analyses of its kind looking at maternity care access, examining data beyond maternity care deserts, and other key issues impacting access to care and maternal health outcomes. The data consistently shows that access to maternity care continues to decline, and more resources are needed to make maternal health a priority.

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