Contraception rights are shrinking! Maternal deaths are increasing! What’s going on?
Why Pissed Off Women Are Pissed Off
SHRINKING CONTRACEPTION RIGHTS
10/06/17: New Trump ruling allows all for-profit employers to eliminate free birth control from their employee health insurance plans. Too bad for single moms who have trouble keeping bread on the table. Tough luck for African-American families where both parents work two jobs to pay the rent. Don’t want babies you can’t afford? Try abstinence. You don’t make enough money to afford sex.
In the bad old days (under Obamacare) the birth control mandate compelled for-profit employers (i.e. excluding churches and nonprofit religious organizations) to cover the full range of family planning devices, including the pill, the intrauterine device, and the Plan B morning-after pill, at no cost to women. After this law was passed, it contributed to the lowest U.S. abortion rate since 1973.
But hey! Abstinence really works. And all those blue-collar women are probably too tired by the end of their 12-hour work day to fool around anyway.
No need to thank us. Just another way your government let’s you know how much it cares.
OUR GROWING MATERNAL DEATH RATE
Many patriotic Americans insist that Obamacare is big waste of money. After all, we have the best health care in the world, right?
Wrong! According to a six-month investigation by NPR and ProPublica, American women have the highest maternal (pregnancy-related) death rate among the world’s developed nations. Statistically, a woman is three times more likely to suffer maternal death in the U.S. than in Canada and six times more likely than in Scandinavia.
Worse yet, while the rest of the world’s maternal deaths are dropping, ours are rising. From 2000 to 2015, global maternal death rates fell by 50%. During the same time period, U.S. maternal death rates increased by nearly 27%. Why is this happening?
Contributing circumstances include:
• These days nearly 1/3 of all U.S. babies are delivered by cesarean sections, despite the fact that most doctors know that these operations increase maternal risk and are not necessary for the majority of all pregnancies, which are low risk.
• Unlike Great Britain, which focuses equally on the survival of both baby and mother, primary medical focus in the U.S. is on the baby. Federal and state funding show only 6% of block grants for maternal and child health actually go to the health of mothers. Over 20 U.S. hospitals have multidisciplinary fetal care centers for high risk babies; only one hospital—New York-Presbyterian/Columbia—has a similar program for high-risk moms.
• A general decline in rural obstetric services over the past 10-year period has led to more maternal deaths both during and after pregnancy. According to a new report from the Rural Health Research Center at the University of Minnesota in 2004 there were no obstetric services in 45% of U.S. rural counties; by 2014, that figure rose to 54%. Not surprisingly, the greatest decline was in poor, heavily black counties and in states with the strictest eligibility rules for Medicaid.
• U.S. procedures for treating complications such as preeclampsia and for responding to potentially fatal emergencies like postpartum bleeding, vary from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, and state to state. By standardizing crisis procedures, Britain reduced preeclampsia deaths to one in a million—two deaths from 2012 to 2014. In the U.S. preeclampsia deaths are 8% of maternal deaths—50 to 70 women each year.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
• huffingtonpost.com - Trump and birth control
• npr.org - focus on infants during child birth ignores moms in danger
• propublica.org - rural maternal care disappearing
• healthline.com - why maternal death rate is so high in the US
• propublica.org - birth rate safer in Britian than in the US
• consumerreports.org - c-section risks