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U.S. maternal death rate is appalling

There is no good reason why the United States has such a high maternal death rate.

Learning that “the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality among developed countries,” makes me furious (“Maternal death rate is an embarrassment,” Dec. 27). And it should anger everyone regardless of gender. I can think of many of reasons for this appalling statistic and perhaps they should be considered.

First and foremost is how the United States squanders billions policing the world. Isn’t it time for our government to put Americans first? Furthermore, supporting the European military through NATO gives those nations the ability to lavish excellent health care on all citizens.

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Regarding maternal mortality, perhaps one reason is our lifestyle. It’s no secret Americans are getting heavier, leading to conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Drug abuse is on the rise and should be taken into account. Prenatal care is very important but expensive. And it’s time the advertisements urging families to sue doctors if the least little thing goes wrong during childbirth must be banned. Obstetric professionals are forced to pay crushing insurance rates thanks to false allegations brought against them. This adds to the cost of having a baby, putting women without insurance at risk.

Finally, we need to investigate what other developed nations are doing and we are not. If the United States leads in maternal deaths, I want to know why — and so should every taxpayer. We have a dreadful health care system, that’s for sure!

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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