As you can see, the downward trend slowed, then reversed itself, before the fall resumed at around 1960. I'm wondering if there was some change in the data collection during that period. The Pill wasn't introduced yet, so we weren't looking at a Pill-provoked increase in sexual activity leading to an increase in unintended pregnancies. Thalidomide and Rubella weren't yet on the radar to be leading to a surge in eugenic abortions with a resulting surge in maternal deaths from those abortions. Any other theories?
While we ponder that, we can look at some examples of this, for now, inexplicable blip in the otherwise consistently improving maternal mortality:
For more on pre-legalization abortion, see The Bad Old Days of Abortion
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