May 01, 2017
The U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world. Yet these deaths of women from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth are almost invisible. When a new or expectant mother dies, her obituary rarely mentions the circumstances. Her identity is shrouded by medical institutions, regulators and state maternal mortality review committees. Her loved ones mourn her loss in private. The lessons to be learned from her death are often lost as well. ProPublica wanted to change that. So far, we have identified 134 of the 700-900 women who died in childbirth in 2016. We are collecting their stories so they are not forgotten and so that the issue is addressed further by people in the position to make a change. On top of reporting for the series, I also fact-checked, managed the database and managed a team of NYU students who found and reached-out to the families of women who died in childbirth.