USA Today: In rural America, maternal health care is vanishing. These moms are most at risk.

EXCERPT: “Five months into her pregnancy, Christine Daniels felt her blood pressure surge. Her head ached, and the skin on her feet stretched and cracked open. Her legs felt so heavy, she could hardly walk to her mom’s apartment around the corner. Help was far away. In her rural north Florida town, there is no hospital. No emergency room or urgent care center. No maternal health care of any kind. Daniels, 33, had to drive about 70 miles round trip every other week for her prenatal appointments, and to deliver her baby . . . About 2 million rural women of childbearing age live in maternity care deserts at least 25 miles away from a labor and delivery unit, a USA TODAY analysis found. Rural hospitals and obstetric wards, already scarce, have continued to shut down in record numbers. Women of color are even more vulnerable, statistics show, and the federal government has only recently started to identify the problem.” FULL STORY: