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Missouri ranks 7th in the nation for number of ‘maternity care deserts,’ physician says

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Our weekly program, Making Democracy Work, is a collaboration between KSMU Radio and the League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri. It's hosted and produced by volunteers from the LWV, and it airs each Monday morning at 9:45 a.m. on KSMU. 

In this episode of our local program Making Democracy Work, Lisa Langley speaks with Dr. Courtney Barnes, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Missouri and practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in Columbia.

Barnes discusses the barriers to women’s health and maternity care in Missouri. She says, due to the closing of 15 hospitals around the state since 2014, there are numerous “maternity care deserts” especially in rural areas. She reports that maternity related death rates are higher in Missouri than other states.