March of Dimes has released its 2022 report on maternity care deserts across the United States—counties where there’s a lack of maternity care resources, where there are no hospitals or birth centers offering obstetric care and no obstetric providers. The report explores the many facets of health care that affect how and where maternity care is provided in the U.S. and also confirms that access to maternity care is worsening throughout the country.
Report findings include:
- Areas where there is low or no access affect up to 6.9 million women and almost 500,000 births across the U.S.
- This includes a five percent increase in counties that have less maternity access since 2020.
- In maternity care deserts alone, approximately 2.2 million women of childbearing age and almost 150,000 babies are affected.
- There’s a two percent increase in counties that are maternity care deserts since our 2020 report. That’s 1,119 counties and an additional 15,933 women with no maternity care.
- Florida had the most women impacted by improvements to maternity care access (more than 92,000).
- Ohio had the most women impacted by overall reductions in access to care (over 97,000).