The Post Roe Baby Boom: Inside Mississippi’s Maternal Health Crisis

USA TODAY and The Tennessean

With abortions severely curtailed in Mississippi, more babies than usual will be born in the state, putting extreme strain on a system where maternal healthcare was already in crisis. In this episode of USA Today’s States of America, Danielle Dreilinger, a journalist for The Tennessean, shines a spotlight on the harrowing deficiencies of that system with a report on the Mississippi Delta, an impoverished region with historically high rates of maternal and infant mortality. In the same state that prompted the Supreme Court case that abolished Roe, Dreilinger highlights the work of the dedicated and overworked Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, one of two remaining obstetricians in the Mississippi Delta; interviews mothers who have endured traumatic pregnancies, including one who had to travel out of state to receive a medically necessary abortion; and subtly illustrates the complexities of local politics through an interview with a minister who opposes all abortions. For its stellar reporting on the crisis of maternal healthcare in an often overlooked region, The Post Roe Baby Boom: Inside Mississippi’s Maternal Health Crisis wins a Peabody Award.


Creator: Kate Gutman, Russ Torres, Robert Padavick. Executive Producer: Yasmeen Qureshi. Senior Producer: Mona Iskander. Producers: Andrea Kramar, Lamar Salter. Writer: Mona Iskander, Yasmeen Qureshi. Editor: Mark Apicella. Talent or Reporter/Correspondent: Danielle Dreilinger. Design and Technical Staff: Justin Shultz, Mike De Angelis, Algernon Quashie. Cinematography: Corentin Soibinet, Sam Rosenthal, Andrea Kramar. Sound/Music: James Panepinto. Additional Funding: Economic Hardship Reporting Project.