A newborn being weighed in Fridley, Minnesota.
 Education Images/Universal Images Group / Getty

For two weeks in a row, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released data with a clear and dismal message: It’s getting increasingly dangerous to be a newborn in the United States.

First, last week, the agency published statistics showing that in 2022, the death rate for American infants increased for the first time in 20 years. Then, on Tuesday, the agency released a report showing rates of congenital syphilis — that is, syphilis infections acquired in the womb — have risen tenfold over the past decade.

Although a lot of different risk factors drive each of these trends, there’s an important one they have in common: bad — and worsening — health care access for mothers and babies.

In the US, the obstacles mothers face in accessing health care are too often insurmountable — and as this latest data shows, the consequences to American children are dire. Things might only get worse, some experts fear, as financial, political, […]

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