The first-term Democrat has introduced legislation aimed at addressing the issue that may soon come up for a vote on the House floor.
“We are the only industrialized nation where the maternal death rate is increasing,” Torres Small told the Journal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths of mothers increased from 7.2 per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 16.9 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2016. Rural parts of the U.S. have 60% higher mortality rates, according to 2015 data from the CDC. The report says the mortality rate in large central metropolitan areas was 18.2 per 100,000 live births, compared with 29.4 per 100,000 live births in the most rural areas.