Republicans Have Made America a Dangerous Place To Be an Expectant Mother

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Republicans and conservatives love touting American exceptionalism that in recent years has taken some devastating and eye-opening direct hits disproving claims that this country is anything but exceptional. Oh it is true America is number one in gun ownership and gun-related deaths, defense spending, greatest income inequality, and most citizens incarcerated, but in every other category America lags behind most other developed nation on Earth and even some still-developing countries. To assert America is barely mediocre is even is a stretch and something to aspire to, but at best it is wishful thinking. The latest news that America reached parity with countries such as Iran, Romania, and is twice as bad as Saudi Arabia and China is a serious pox on the reputation of richest nation on Earth, but it certainly warmed the black hearts of Republicans and particularly evangelical fundamentalists.

There were two reports out last week from a highly respected medical journal and an international organization that revealed America is a dangerous place to be an expectant mother, and for women-hating Republicans and Christian extremists it was welcomed news and a sign their anti-women efforts are a raging success. According to Save the Children’s list of best places to be a mother; “America plummeted from 6th place to 31st out of 178 countries” within a decade. The president and CEO of Save the Children announced that “In the U.S., the lifetime risk of maternal death has risen more than 50 percent since we launched our first report in 2000 — from 1 in 3,700 to 1 in 2,400. Today, an American woman faces the same lifetime risk of maternal death as a woman in Iran or Romania.”

However, that was not the only news Republicans and Christians celebrated because according to one of the most widely-respected health research journals on the planet, The Lancet, “the United States of America now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.” That puts American women giving birth in the unenviable position as being twice as likely to die giving birth as women in Saudi Arabia or China. The sad facts are that for every 100,000 births in America just last year, 18.5 women died compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland; three countries boasting universal healthcare Republicans decry as “inferior socialized medicine.”

To get an accurate portrayal of the increasing danger to expectant mothers in the richest country on Earth compared to other nations, while America’s maternal death rate is climbing, the rate has dropped in in nearly all other nations. In fact, there are only eight countries with a rising mortality rate that puts America in a league with Belize, El Salvador, Afghanistan, and South Sudan; some of the poorest nations on the planet. It is worth noting, too, that America has been measuring the rate of maternal deaths the same way for decades so Republicans cannot claim the numbers are being manipulated, but it is probable that they are too busy celebrating with personhood and fetal-enamored evangelical pro-life advocates to take time to comment on the success of their anti-women handiwork.

There is a misperception that increased maternal mortality rates are due to younger girls becoming pregnant where childbirth and pregnancy is more dangerous, but the data show that the biggest rise is in the 20-24 age group. Researchers are almost unanimous in citing the lack of access to health care coupled with rising levels of poverty as the culprit to rising maternal mortality rates. Although lacking access to pre-natal care is a major contributing factor, a large number of women perish during pregnancy and childbirth due to pre-existing health issues before becoming pregnant that were exacerbated because they were carrying a fetus draining their body’s life-force. To make sure poor women suffering from undiagnosed and untreated diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease that are stressful enough without a parasitic fetus adding unnecessary stress to a woman’s body, Republicans cut funding for family planning (contraception and health screening) to prohibit poor women’s access to the means to prevent a pregnancy they should not have had in the first place.

Republicans and extremist Christian’s solution is restrict access to healthcare that would diagnose and treat existing health problems, prohibit access to contraception, close down women’s and expectant mother clinics, and if it is a former Confederate state, reject free Medicaid expansion to prevent poor women from having access to any healthcare. According to a study by the Roosevelt Institute, states with high poverty rates have maternal death rates 77% higher than states with lower levels of poverty, and women without health insurance are four times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than women who are insured. For women without prior health issues Christian Republicans have blocked access to prenatal care that every woman, rich or poor, requires to enhance their chance of a safe pregnancy and childbirth.

The two sickening reports were good news to conservative Christians and their Republican facilitators who worked diligently over the past three years to put an end to family planning agencies such as Planned Parenthood, closed countless women’s health clinics in Republican states, restricted access to abortion services, slashed funding for aid to expectant mothers, and rejected Medicaid expansion to prohibit poor women gaining from access to healthcare. One of the overriding, and hardly discussed, reasons behind Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act was its expanded coverage for women’s health and maternity services, including the provision forbidding higher premiums for women just because they are women. In fact, one of the reasons evangelical maniacs like Hobby Lobby are fighting to prevent women’s access to contraceptives is because extremist personhood advocates love a fetus but hate the woman carrying it and blocking access to contraception, closing women’s clinics and family planning agencies like Planned Parenthood provides the religious right with more fetal love to accompany more unhealthy mothers. It is a win-win situation for conservative Christians and Republicans who believe fetal rights trump those of the woman carrying the developing organism. Draconian cuts to services for expectant mothers coupled with inaccessibility to birth control and healthcare is finally producing the results religious right Republicans have long sought to achieve.

Add to the Christian Republicans closing down access to family planning, women’s health clinics, and pre-natal care the former Confederate GOP states deliberately promoting poverty due to slave wages, job-killing tax cuts for the rich, and rejecting Medicaid expansion due to ideological, and not fiscal reasons, and they have created the conditions that are killing off women at a rate closer to that of war-ravaged Afghanistan than the richest nation on Earth. What Americans can take away from another report condemning America as a declining second-rate nation is that like America’s high child poverty, infant mortality, and now maternal mortality rates rivaling third-world nations is that Republicans hate, in equal amounts children, infants, and expectant mothers nearly as much as they love a fetus; until it breathes air and becomes a human being.

 

 

16 Replies to “Republicans Have Made America a Dangerous Place To Be an Expectant Mother”

  1. Republicans/Conservatives have indeed made this nation dangerous for expectant mothers and everyone else who doesn’t buy into their dictatorship via Christian legislation. Pro-Gun Pro-Life (until birth) Anti-Union Anti-Health Care Anti-Climate Science Anti -SCIENCE Anti-Education.

  2. Vote, copy, paste, and share – we need to be heard.
    Vote: S. 1696: Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 Summary: A bill to protect a women’s right to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy by limiting restrictions on the provision of abortion services. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/s1696
    Vote: H.R. 3471: Women’s Health Protection Act of 2013 Summary: To protect a woman’s right to determine whether and when to bear a child or end a pregnancy by limiting restrictions on the provision of abortion services. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr3471
    Support: H.R. 676: Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act . To provide for comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States residents, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes. https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/113/hr676

  3. The GOPT has made our country dangerous for everyone, and here we sit. No gun control, no birth control, no food stamps, no unemployment for people without jobs, they don’t want us to have healthcare, they want to gun people down who do not agree with their extremist views…what’s left?

  4. I don’t think the Republicans are “happy” with the rise in maternal death rate. It is, for them, an unexpected consequence of their behavior. Look to their apparent goals: to require all women to have lots of babies; to bring all pregnancies to term. Maternal death doesn’t accomplish that. Now, if their real goal is to punish women, maybe they are happy.

  5. Elizabeth44 They will only be happy when they have duplicated the corrupt theocracy that V fought against in the movie “V”

  6. Now tell me these same people are “pro life.”

    They care nothing for life. They don’t even care for the life of the newborn – at least, not once it has made its entrance in the world.

    After that, mom and baby can go to hell for all they care.

  7. There is an article on Alternet called 4 Reasons why Right Wing Christians are salivating for the end of the world. That plays a role in this as well. Why bother with livable wages, health care, or anything else since old Jaysus will appear any time now and we’ll go out with a big bang.

  8. The republicans keep making the same mistakes over and over again. They keep cutting the programs that help people and now they are beginning to show up in the worst the way. They cut the miltary budgets so bad that lives had been lost and they want to blame the president for it and they kept cutting benefits to needy so much that they are beginning to show up in the death rates making us look bad when we are one of the richest country in the nation. We shouldn’t have a high death rate like this among our mothers in this day in age but with all these cuts in planned parenthood we can’t help it. Some of these pregancy could have been prevent with the right care.

  9. In other words you really dont care how bad it is, you just dont like people mentioning it. Numbers and facts must scare you to death

  10. “The world’s largest abortion provider, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), has acknowledged an alarming “surge” in maternal deaths in South Africa, challenging the pro-abortion mantra that liberal abortion laws decrease maternal mortality. Maternal deaths increased by twenty per cent in the period 2005-2007 in South Africa, a country that since 1996 has had one of the most permissive abortion laws on the African continent.”
    http://c-fam.org/en/2009/7268-un-health-data-show-liberal-abortion-laws-lead-to-greater-maternal-death

  11. “Are Mexican women dying from the effects of unsafe, illegal abortion because of restrictive laws in most of their country? Researchers from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the US reproductive health and abortion advocacy organization, have estimated figures in excess of 1 million. Other researchers have claimed that Mexico has made no progress in reducing maternal mortality over the past 20 years, largely because of illegal abortions.

    But new research by an international team led by Chilean epidemiologist Elard Koch shows that these findings are wildly misleading. Actual official data from Mexico and use of recognized research methods shows that maternal mortality has decreased by over 30 percent during the last two decades (82 percent over the last 50 years), and suggests that abortion figures touted in leading magazines may be inflated by as much as 1000 percent (10-fold).

    In the following email interview with MercatorNet Dr. Koch explains how his team arrived at their conclu…

  12. http://c-fam.org/en/2012/6716-chilean-study-exposes-fundamental-flaws-in-maternal-health-research
    Dr. Elard Koch, an epidemiologist on the faculty of the University of Chile, countered that the peer-reviewed studies are themselves flawed since they rely largely on unscientific data such as surveys. In contrast, Koch said his own study relies exclusively on scientific methods and exceptionally high quality country data.

    Koch’s rebuttal to Guttmacher also reveals how unfamiliar Guttmacher researchers are with the facts surrounding abortion and maternal health in many countries and not just Chile. For example, Guttmacher reiterated its bedrock assumption that women routinely lie about having abortions and do not seek post-abortion care in countries where abortions are illegal. Koch noted Chile’s impeccable records in this regard and called Guttmacher’s swipe “inconsistent and biased,” noting the lack of “strict scientific rigor” has led Guttmacher to get abortion figures…

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