This past Friday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly highlighted a troubling new report from March of Dimes that shows significant geographical disparities in maternity care access in Indiana and across the country. According to the report, 52 Hoosier counties have limited access to maternity care, which means they have few hospitals offering obstetric care and minimal obstetric providers. Further, 25 of these counties are maternity care deserts with no hospitals providing obstetric care, no obstetric providers, and a high proportion of women without health insurance. This can result in Hoosier women being forced to drive long distances for care or unable to access adequate maternity care at all. Indiana has the sixth-highest infant mortality rate and the third-highest maternal mortality rate in the United States.
Donnelly said, “Every mother in Indiana should be able to access quality maternity care, regardless of her zip code. This report clearly shows we still have work to do ensuring quality obstetric care for every Hoosier mother and her child. I’m proud to support bipartisan legislation that would help increase the number of providers in underserved areas so we can get better health outcomes for moms, babies, and families.”