Did you know that black women are three times as likely as white women to die of pregnancy-related complications? (NYT)
Why do states led by Trump Republican ban abortions and also deny poor mothers the Medicaid they are entitled to after childbirth? What role does racism play in these policies? What can you do to restore women’s freedom to choose when and with whom to have a family? First, check the facts for yourself with this map.
- Which states have banned or are about to ban abortions?
- Which states deny Medicaid benefits to their residents living in poverty?
- How many mothers living in poverty have the means to travel out of state to get abortion services?
- How many women die during childbirth?
- How many children die before the age of one?
- What is the Black population in these states?
- How many of these states have Republican Governors and Senators?
The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country and the maternal mortality rate is higher than it has been in decades. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is 17.4 deaths per 100,000 births. America is also the only developed to country see maternal mortality rates rising. – World Population Review
Mapping the Trump Republican war on women
Racism, poverty and death
What is maternal mortality? Hundreds of women die each year in the United States as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. The death of a woman during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivery is a tragedy for her family and for society as a whole. The number of deaths increases as Republicans force reproductive health clinics to close and women do not have the money to travel out of state to get care.
What is infant mortality? Infant mortality is the death of an infant before his or her first birthday. The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. In addition to giving us key information about maternal and infant health, the infant mortality rate is an important marker of the overall health of a society. In 2020, the infant mortality rate in the United States was 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
What is the poverty level? Medicaid uses the federal poverty level (FPL) as a benchmark to determine income limits for eligibility in each state. Also known as the “poverty line,” the FPL is the amount of annual income earned by a household. The poverty line is a basis for how much money is needed to cover basic necessities like housing, utilities and food, and it varies according to household size. The federal poverty level in 2021 is equal to an income of $12,880 per year for an individual adult, plus $4,540 for each additional household member. Alaska and Hawaii have different benchmarks because of their differing costs of living.
Mississippi Republicans refuse Federal aid that would help mothers
“Mississippi, the state that spurred the overturning of abortion rights is among 17 that have not adopted a new option to extend new mothers’ Medicaid coverage for a year. Last year, Democrats put a potential solution in their pandemic relief bill: a streamlined way to extend new mothers’ Medicaid coverage for a full year after they give birth. Most states have pursued the option, but Mississippi is among 17, largely led by Republicans, that have not. Most of those, including Mississippi, have also banned abortion or will soon.” – NY Times
Imagine a young woman living at the poverty in Mississippi level being raped and denied an abortion because of Republican policies. And then being forced to choose between having to travel to a different state to get care when living on a $1,000/month or raising a child with on that income because Republican politicians deny her the Medicaid she is entitled to.
Affordable Care Act – Medicaid Coverage
What’s tragic is that many of these deaths could be avoided by providing mothers the aid that is available to them through Medicaid.
“The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly all adults with incomes up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($17,774 for an individual in 2021) and provided states with an enhanced federal matching rate (FMAP) for their expansion populations. To date, 39 states (including DC) have adopted the Medicaid expansion and 12 states have not adopted the expansion. Current status for each state is based on KFF tracking and analysis of state expansion activity.” – Kaiser Family Foundation
Medical experts raised the question of Medicaid access, including piecemeal extensions that could directly target mothers and babies for improved access to care. Pregnancy data highlight the dire state of health care in Mississippi. “In many instances, pregnancy is the only time some of these women have health-care coverage.” A majority of the state’s pregnancies already rely upon the program. “Sixty-five percent of all babies born in Mississippi are born to mothers on Medicaid.” – MCIR
All babies are equal, some are more equal than others
Paraphrasing George Orwell in Animal Farm
Black babies in Louisiana die at a rate higher than in 82 countries
“Antiabortion activists and lawmakers continue to celebrate the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision as a win for America’s infants. Yet, many of the states that have recently banned or severely restricted abortion access have the highest infant mortality rates in the country. Louisiana, for example, which now bans nearly all abortions, has a higher infant mortality rate than 66 countries — and a Black infant mortality rate higher than 82 countries.
Since Black Americans rely on abortion more than any other racial group, Black women will be forced to give birth at disproportionate rates. And with racial disparities in prenatal care still prevalent in America, a disproportionate number of those women will also be forced to experience the deaths of the babies they birth.” – Shannon Withycombe in Washington Post
“Louisiana woman faces ‘horrifically cruel’ abortion choice over fetus missing skull. Nancy Davis, denied abortion in home state of Louisiana despite fetus being diagnosed with fatal skull condition, forced to travel for procedure. Louisiana is among those that have outlawed abortion with very few exceptions. Davis, from Baton Rouge, said publicly that she tried to have her pregnancy aborted after a 10-week ultrasound revealed that her fetus was missing the top of its skull – a condition known as acrania, which kills babies within minutes or hours of birth.
But because acrania was not explicitly included on Louisiana’s list of conditions justifying an exception from the state’s abortion ban, the hospital that treated Davis turned down terminating her pregnancy, which, as of Friday, was in its 13th week. The medical center, Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, directed her to an abortion clinic, saying her Medicaid insurance wouldn’t cover the procedure.” – The Guardian
Takeaway: Having babies safely shouldn’t be a privilege for the wealthy few. Vote Democrat for reproductive healthcare for everyone.
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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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