It's getting harder to give birth in America

Plus: What I've been reading this week |

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From Editor in Chief Sam Jacobs
It's getting harder to give birth in America
By Sam Jacobs
Editor in Chief

This past week we launched TIME100 Health, our newest TIME100 list that seeks to recognize the most influential doctors, scientists, and researchers alongside others working to make a healthier world.

On a recent reporting trip to Birmingham, Ala., TIME's Alana Semuels saw first-hand the difficulties that many of those providers and their supporters are up against as she covered a troubling trend. In the last fifteen years hundreds of maternity wards have closed around the country, including Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, which shut its doors last October. Labor and delivery units are often in the red. Doctors are leaving the industry, with many saying their work is undervalued by private and public insurance providers. 

These trends have adversely impacted vulnerable communities and hurt the quality of maternal care in the United States, doctors and researchers say. It's something that feels particularly resonant this weekend, when we celebrate Mother's Day in the United States.

Semuels, who this year won an award for her journalism from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, is an expert at showing how economic trends influence the lives of TIME's readers. Her reporting from Alabama was supported by the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism's 2023 Impact Fund for Reporting on Health Equity and Health Systems.

Please read Semuels' story here. Let me know what you think?

P.S. Watch the 2024 TIME100 Special—hosted by Taraji P. Henson and featuring performances by Dua Lipa and Fantasia Barrino, along with appearances from Patrick Mahomes, Maya Rudolph and Michael J. Fox—this Sunday at 10/9c on ABC. If you miss the live show, stream the next day on Hulu.

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