Journalism Grants

Funding For:

Disparities in Maternal Mortality

Maternal and Child Health


PBS NewsHour

Grant Period:

Nov 01, 2022 - Oct 31, 2023



Summary of the Project:

This project explores continued disparities in maternal health outcomes, especially related to maternal mortality.

About the Grantee:

PBS NewsHour is the primary daily, breaking and special news producer for PBS. It produces PBS NewsHour, PBS News Weekend, and Washington Week, as well as has a robust footprint across digital and social platforms.

PBS NewsHour is co-anchored by Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett and features the latest news, analysis, field reports from around the world, live studio interviews and discussions. For almost 50 years, millions have turned to it as public broadcasting’s marquee nightly news program for the solid, reliable reporting that has made it the most objective news program on television.

Related Grantee Work

August 24, 2023

What experts are doing to combat the rise in maternal mortality among Black Americans

Amna Nawaz interviews Dr. Doee Kitessa from the University of Maryland School of Medicine on factors (i.e. high blood pressure & fibroids) that play a role in maternal mortality.

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Author: Amna Nawaz & Christina Romano

July 3, 2023

U.S. maternal deaths more than doubled over 20 years. Here’s who fared the worst

The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers analyzed the socioeconomic backgrounds to determine which ethnic groups high rates of maternal mortality.

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Author: Laura Ungar - Associated Press

June 28, 2023

American Black women face disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality

Black women are facing disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, the maternal mortality rate for Black women was nearly 70 deaths for every 100,000 live births. This rate is 2.6 times the rate for white women, regardless of income or education.

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Author: William Brangham & Shoshana Dubnow

May 27, 2023

What the U.S. is doing to address its deepening maternal mortality crisis

The U.S. maternal mortality rate continues to steadily increase, with 2021 being one of the worst years on record. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental health conditions are among the leading causes of pregnancy-related death. Carole Johnson, head of the Health Resources and Services Administration, joins Ali Rogin to discuss what the federal government is doing to help.

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Author: Ali Rogin & Kaisha Young

April 1, 2023

Idaho’s strict abortion laws create uncertainty for OB-GYNs in the state

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, 14 states have banned abortions in nearly all cases. Many maternal health doctors say state abortion bans are untenable and OB-GYNs are beginning to pack up and leave. In a segment co-produced with the PBS NewsHour, KFF Health News correspondent Sarah Varney reports on this growing crisis.

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Author: Maea Lenei Buhre

April 13, 2023

Black women face greater risk of death and trauma due to childbirth. This reporter explored why

Black women die due to pregnancy-related complications at a rate that is three times higher than their white peers, according to recent federal data, and experts say those tragic disparities result from structural racism. In a yearlong investigation, Capital B national health reporter Margo Snipe examined records in Georgia to better understand how disinvestment in health care systems that served predominantly Black communities led to maternal health care deserts.

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Author: Laura Santhanam, Nicole Ellis, & Casey Kuhn

March 29, 2023

The health care challenges pregnant women of color face in rural areas

A CDC report shows maternal deaths nearly doubled over three years, with over 1,200 deaths in 2021. Rural communities, where maternal mortality is almost double urban rates, struggle to access lifesaving maternal healthcare. With support from the Pulitzer Center and in collaboration with the Global Health Reporting Center, Stephanie Sy reports from Pickens County, Alabama, for our series Rural RX.

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Author: Stephanie Sy & Maea Lenei Buhre

March 16, 2023

U.S. maternal mortality spiked during the worst days of COVID, new data shows

Maternal deaths in the United States nearly doubled over three years, with a sharp rise at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent report.

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Author: Laura Santhanam

March 16, 2023

CDC data shows rise in maternal mortality and deaths of Black infants in U.S.

The CDC released two reports about mortality rates for mothers and babies in America and they include some stark racial divides. New mothers are dying at higher rates than mothers in any other industrialized nation. And while the overall rate of infants dying is at record lows, the deaths of Black infants spiked during the pandemic. William Brangham explores the trends with two of the researchers.

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Author: William Brangham, Courtney Norris, & Laura Santhanam

February 13, 2023

What’s behind a sharp rise in deaths among pregnant women and new mothers?

A recent study found a disturbing rise in deaths among pregnant women and new mothers during the pandemic, and not just because of complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Native American women faced the greatest risk as they were three-and-a-half times more likely to die compared to white women. Amna Nawaz spoke with Jessica Whitehawk to better understand what’s driving this increase.

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Author: Amna Nawaz & Karina Cuevas