Mississippi’s Maternal Care Crisis: A Look at America’s Worst State for Birth Outcomes


A recent analysis determined which states in the United States are the worst places to give birth in 2024.

A birth injury legal firm gathered data and analyzed the results to determine which states were the best for mothers to give birth. Before creating a data-driven ranking, the firm evaluated the impact of factors like maternal and infant mortality, as well as the expense of healthcare and childcare in each state.

Mississippi finished last on the list, owing to major healthcare issues as well as disturbingly high infant and maternal death rates. According to reports, the Magnolia state loses more newborns than the state with the highest rating, North Dakota, and has 9.39 baby fatalities per 1,000 births, compared to North Dakota’s 2.77.

Experts believe that pervasive pro-life legislation and a lack of reproductive health education are major reasons why women in Mississippi do not have access to the care they require and deserve. Since the landmark Supreme Court judgment Roe v. Wade was overruled, the state has imposed a trigger ban on all abortions, except those necessary to preserve a mother’s life or in situations of rape or incest.

The Mississippi Birth Coalition, a pro-life organization, advocated for increased money and resources to support pregnant women and mothers, refuting the premise that pro-life philosophy is directly linked to substandard reproductive care.

“There are many factors associated with this, including tobacco use, STDs, chronic diseases, a lack of quality healthcare, and limited access to doctors for women in rural Mississippi,” coalition representative Getty Israel told a local TV station.

South Carolina and Tennessee are ranked second and third worst on the list.

The former ranks 49th, with an infant mortality rate of 7.26 deaths per 1000 births and a maternal mortality rate of 32.7 deaths per 100,000 live births. Meanwhile, the fertility rate is 57.5 per 1000, childcare costs $9,932 per child per year, and childbirth costs $1,342 out of pocket. These prices are unappealing to new families looking to get started while maintaining a tight budget.

According to the findings, Tennessee faces similar issues, with infant death rates of 6.18 per 1000 births and maternal mortality rates of 41.7 per 100,000 live births. To top it off, childcare in the state is reportedly $8,759 per year.

The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at Vanderbilt University believes that policy reforms in Tennessee could result in decreased death rates and more inexpensive treatment.

Researchers discovered that if the state government expanded Medicaid eligibility or considerably raised the minimum wage, they could move the needle even further. However, considering the current political atmosphere in the state, they stated that this was highly unlikely to happen.

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