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Will America Protect Our Mothers?


October 21, 2021

In medicine, we routinely ask people about their family health history. Knowing that your mother had diabetes, or that your grandfather battled alcoholism, helps us be alert for health conditions to which you may be predisposed. Sometimes, though, what is revealed by those histories isn't a medical problem, but a family tragedy.

Earlier in my career, my older patients commonly told me that their grandmother, or even their mother, died in childbirth. Today, it is all too easy to forget just how perilous it can be to be pregnant. In the early 1900s, nearly one mother died for every 100 live...

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