Los Angeles Times

Democrats point to racial gap in care of pregnant women

Tamara King was 28 weeks pregnant when a blinding headache took hold. By the time she got to the hospital, her blood pressure was high enough to set off the monitor's alarm.

"It was like, ding-ding-ding! This person might die!" King said.

After three weeks' hospitalization in Columbia, S.C., King had an emergency C-section when the baby's heart rate flat-lined. Her daughter was born at 31 1/2 weeks weighing less than 2 1/2 pounds.

It was a harrowing brush with a baffling problem: the high risk of dying as an expectant mother in America, a danger that is especially acute for black women like King. The nation's maternal health crisis has captured increasing attention in the media, in the medical community and in Congress.

Now it has hit

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