After our local hospital system announced it was cutting obstetric services from one of its hospitals, I wanted to know what impact the decision would have on the amount of time women would have to spend traveling to deliver a baby. I calculated the travel times to the nearest obstetric unit from each ZIP code in our region using Google Maps's API in Python and mapped the results using QGIS.

The change, I found, would mean that more women in our region would have to drive long distances -- with some having to travel close to an hour -- to deliver a baby at a hospital with a devoted obstetric unit.