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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


Researchers have found that homicide is among the leading causes of death of pregnant women in the U.S.

Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth are more likely to be murdered than to die from the leading obstetric causes of death, Harvard University researchers reported in October 2022. The researchers cited a mix of intimate partner violence and firearms.

A 2021 study led by a Tulane University researcher found homicide is a leading cause of death during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The study reviewed mortality files from 2018 and 2019.

Johns Hopkins University researchers reported in 2021 that the leading causes of pregnancy-associated deaths, as defined by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are homicide, suicide and drug overdose. The researchers cited intimate partner violence during pregnancy as a factor.

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Harvard Homicide leading cause of death for pregnant women in U.S.

The BMJ Homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women in US

Obstetrics & Gynecology Homicide During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period in the United States, 2018–2019

Journal of Women’s Health Pregnancy-Associated Deaths from Homicide, Suicide, and Drug Overdose

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.