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Every year, nearly 4 million women give birth in the United States.  While most of these births are without significant complications, nearly 50,000 women a year suffer life-threatening pregnancy and birth complications, and more than 700 women die.  There are significant disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality, with higher rates among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

This guide provides an at-a-glance overview of key law and policy measures that can help alleviate these disparities and assure that conditions for optimal birth outcomes are present for all.