Gov. Pritzker uses opening of Chicago birthing center to discuss scourge of America

Gov. Pritzker. (Photo courtesy: Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker used the opening of a South Side Chicago birthing center Monday to speak up about a scourge of America and Illinois: maternal morbidity.

“Unfortunately, our nation is failing mothers and mothers-to-be on nearly every metric. The maternal mortality rate in the United States is nearly 33 deaths per 100,000, a ratio more than double that of other high-income countries across the world.

“Imagine that. We are actually near the bottom. We should be near the top.”

Not everyone at Monday’s event was so morose. “The health of a mother during and after pregnancy is a critical bellwether to the health of our society and ties directly to the overall health of children and families,” Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Sameer Vohra said, pointing out maternal care is about more than nine months.

And Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said the “array of reproductive services” includes healthy pregnancies and safe births.

Stratton, who is Black, said even her grown daughters are skittish around doctors, pointing to what she says is a racial divide.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


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