What happens if Abortion rights are revoked?

Sometimes I wonder if the United States is regressing rather than progressing. The patriarchy was sitting somewhere one day, whether at a political conference, golfing, campaigning for office, or even swearing-in– you name it! And suddenly, one of them had an inch to poke the matriarchy. We are striving for equal wages, and now you are threatening to withdraw our abortion rights. Seriously, welcome to the poker game. We women are inherently multi-taskers: we shall battle for both and much more.

Fetal rights and the protection of women’s health are two of the justifications stated by opponents of abortion restrictions. For starters, if you cared about fetal rights, how about addressing this country’s appalling rate of infant mortality? In 2005, the infant mortality rate in the United States was 6.9 deaths per 1000 births. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States ranks 30th in the world. The infant mortality rate in the United States is greater than in most other industrialized countries, and it appears to be worsening.” “There should be support programs for children once they are born,” says Kathryn Kolbert, a reproductive rights attorney.

Just to be clear, induced abortion is actually safer than childbirth, so if the rationale is to preserve women’s health, that’s simply not true. Among wealthy countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate. The maternal mortality rate for 2020 was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, a significant increase from the previous year.

One study assessed the death rates related with infants born and legal induced abortions in the United States from 1998 to 2005. Pregnancy-related mortality was 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births among mothers who delivered live neonates. The induced abortion mortality rate was 0.6 deaths per 100,000 abortions. Prenatal complications were more likely during childbirth than during abortion in recent comparative research in the United States. A live birth has a 14-fold greater risk of death for women than an abortion-related death, according to the study. The findings, while not surprising, experts say, contradict several state regulations that claim abortions are high-risk operations.

According to Dr. Bryna Harwood, an ob-gyn at the University of Illinois in Chicago, an induced abortion, like any other medical procedure, requires informed permission from the woman. That is, women recognize and accept the dangers associated with their various options. What complicates situations, according to Harwood, is when the government intervenes and mandates doctors to provide information that isn’t always accurate or medically sound — typically exaggerating the risk of abortion.

Instead of fussing about outlawing abortion, how about focusing on lowering both the neonatal and maternity death rate? According to several studies, some factors contributing to the increase in maternal mortality rates include a shortage of maternity caregivers, particularly midwives, and a lack of access to full postpartum assistance. While other high-income countries offer paid leave to new moms, the United States does not. Maternity leave enables new mothers in adjusting to the physical and emotional demands of motherhood while also providing families with financial stability. Except for the United States, other developed countries require at least 14 weeks of paid leave. In addition, several countries offer more than a year of maternity leave.

Unlike the United States, in other developed nations, postpartum home visits are guaranteed. Postpartum care helps mothers and newborns recover physically and emotionally. Midwife or nurse home visits boost mental health, breastfeeding, and health care expenses.   Home visits allow healthcare professionals to address mental health concerns as well as analyze socioeconomic determinants of health, such as food, shelter, and financial security.

There are more pressing matters to address than poking the matriarchy with their reproductive freedom. If you truly cared about women’s health, as you claim, those must be some of your aims, or else this is just about controlling women. This is about confining women– by the time you want to outlaw the safest women’s reproductive procedure. Because if we don’t have a choice over whether, when, and with whom we have children, women will be unable to function as equal members of society.

In terms of mental health, overturning Roe v. Wade will exacerbate and destroy the lives of many girls and women. With all the psychological and economic strain that comes with having children, the mental battle will feel like a war zone where you’re sure you’re doomed. Many individuals believe that getting an abortion is mostly motivated by a desire not to have children. Most individuals are simply not prepared to care for children– by the time they are trying to care for themselves, having another human to care for is daunting, so it is postponed until they are ready psychologically and financially. This alone protects not just the people in the current circumstances, but also future generations and the society as a whole. Poverty is already one of the primary causes of death and mental illness. According to research, poverty claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, with more than half of them being children under the age of five — that is 4000 deaths each day. Do we truly want more humans to be born in poverty?

In the United States, more than 11.5 million children live in poverty. When a child grows up in poverty, he or she may not have the opportunity to go to school, receive adequate nourishment, or receive complete healthcare.

What kind of society will we be living in? Homelessness is already one of the most serious issues in the United States. Look at all these concerns that you are already aware of, and your primary goal is to make them worse– how lovely politicians? Everything is interconnected and interdependent; therefore, putting your ego aside, you will recognize that prohibiting abortion will be the worst decision ever implemented.

Whatever a person’s race, ethnicity, gender identity, or whoever one loves, everyone deserves the freedom of choice when to become parents and the support they need to build a family and bring up their children in an environment that promotes dignity and safety for everyone.

There are more pressing matters to address than poking the matriarchy with their reproductive freedom.

References

Raymond, Elizabeth G. MD, MPH; Grimes, David A. MD The Comparative Safety of Legal Induced Abortion and Childbirth in the United States, Obstetrics & Gynecology: February 2012 – Volume 119 – Issue 2 Part 1 – p 215-219
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31823fe923

Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020. (2022, February 23). Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/maternal-mortality/2020/maternal-mortality-rates-2020.htm

Infant Mortality:How Does The US Compare? (n.d.). Infant Mortality:How Does The US Compare?; http://www.nptinternal.org. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.nptinternal.org/productions/chcv2/infant-mortality/howuscompare.html

Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund. (2020, November 18). Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund; http://www.commonwealthfund.org. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/nov/maternal-mortality-maternity-care-us-compared-10-countries

Red Nose Day 2018 : Charity Navigator. (2018, May 21). Charity Navigator; http://www.charitynavigator.org. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=6330&c_src=WPAIDSEARCH&gclid=CjwKCAjwp7eUBhBeEiwAZbHwkbFrD3itOnol5mbiwZx0JmGvZrW9jxKFqKVQyYhLRkAgG7_zfemhYBoCvQkQAvD_BwE

Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues. (2013, January 7). Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues; http://www.globalissues.org. https://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats#:~:text=It%20claims%20the%20lives%20of,number%20of%20deaths%20from%20tuberculosis.

Quote of the day

We have evolved to the automation of simply being with the intention of nothingness. We pose questions and provide fake responses because that is simply how things are. We have been socialized to conceal our emotions from the outside world. The majority of us cannot fathom responding with “I’m feeling quite down today, but thank you for asking” rather than “OK, thanks for asking.” This is something we are all guilty of… but why?

DMK

Maternal mortality disparities in the United States

Despite being quite good with children, I have never desired or felt the urge to have children of my own. However, when the prospect of giving birth crosses my mind, I am terrified and helpless—not necessairly of giving birth, but of giving birth as a black woman in the United States. When someone close to me or anyone I know gets pregnant and that person is black, my mind wanders to a cruel world more like a wilderness. I ponder what their experience will be like—  Will the individual return from the hospital alive, will they survive their aftermath, and will they be able to raise their children? I contemplate the doctor’s character, perhaps he or she will be kind enough to do their job with integrity. Perhaps! Perhaps! This is a state of limbo,  a state of doubt and  complete uncertainty. This wilderness is a dark realm riddled with raw sores and agony. It is frightening and the absolute worst place to be. How does one ease their State of mind when this notion occurs?

What are the statistics on the maternity mortality rate?

Before childbirth, during labor, and after childbirth, black women are two to six times more likely to suffer and die from prenatal complications than white folks. According to the National Library of Medicine, which evaluated data from 1979 to 1992, the pregnancy-related mortality ratio for Black women was 25.1 per 100,000, for Hispanic women it was 10.3, and for non-Hispanic white women it was 6.0. According to the American Medical Association, these rates have not improved, and bleeding, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and embolism are the leading causes of maternal death. Black women are nearly three times as likely as white women to die from a hemorrhage.

This is a recent 2020 report on maternal death rates from the CDC. The maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 55.3 per 100,000 live births, which was 2.9 times higher than the rate for non-Hispanic White women. Significantly higher rates were observed among non-Hispanic Black women than among non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women. Significant increases occurred between 2019 and 2020 for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women. The increase recorded between 2019 and 2020 for non-Hispanic White women was not statistically significant. The following graph from the CDC illustrates the aforementioned information.

When you read something theoretically, it doesn’t hit you as hard as when you use numbers—that is to say statistics. Numbers hit different— it’s as though your mind recognizes the enormity of the problem in plain sight. I was browsing the CDC website when these statistics blew my mind. It’s like, what the f**k is going on in this country.  Numbers certainly don’t lie.  And, to make matters worse, these rates continue to rise. This is bad—and bad is a nice term at the moment. This is cruel. 

Although statistics on the maternal mortality rate in Black women existed, it wasn’t until recently that this topic received national attention. According to Dr. Neel Shah, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, until recently, medical practitioners did not systematically track maternal death rates. There are several approaches to comprehending these large disparities. Racial disparities are to blame for the rising number of mothers dying in childbirth in the United States. Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die during childbirth.

Being wealthy or famous makes no difference given your skin color. Take into account Beyonce, Serena Williams, and Olympian Allyson Felix, all of whom have come forward to share their experiences with pregnancy and childbirth.  Even if you are the world’s best athlete and have a deep grasp of your own body, advocating for yourself might be harder than anticipated. Serena Williams was diagnosed with a clotting condition. She had previously experienced a blood clot in her lungs, so she was familiar with what it felt like. After giving birth, she got a blood clot in her lungs, and she was compelled to push vehemently for care. Because the professionals did not initially believe her, treatment was delayed. Blood clots are potentially fatal. As a result, it appears that education and social standing do not shield Black women from racism in healthcare.

There are countless examples of black women who have suffered unnecessary injury, death, and suffering. When these women described their symptoms and showed concern about what was happening to them, particularly with regard to their pain, the medical professionals believed them less. Reserach shows that medical professionals are more slow to respond to and address the pain of black individuals. Aren’t medical professionals trained to profile people and determine who is sick and who isn’t? Perhaps they are explicitly instructed to treat people differently based on their skin color?—I’m eager to learn what happens educationally during med school.

“There are systemic traces of racism that are built into this practice, and the way doctors are trained and some of that has roots that go back to slavery.”

Dr. Neel Shah– Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School

Among developed countries, the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate. In most other countries, midwives outnumber ob-gyns, and primary care is fundamental to the health care system. As can be seen, medical experts play an important part in every healthcare system. Despite the fact that our country has a scarcity of medical professionals, this does not excuse the reality that the system is flawed and biased. Furthermore, the United States is the only country among developed countries that does not guarantee access to postpartum provider home visits or paid parental leave.

I assume that some doctors are doing everything in their power to treat each patient with equality and integrity. Nonetheless, our system is so broken and defective that other doctors are oblivious of their inappropriate and especially brutal behavior resulting into a high number of premature mortality.

References

Flanders-Stepans M. B. (2000). Alarming racial differences in maternal mortality. The Journal of perinatal education9(2), 50–51. https://doi.org/10.1624/105812400X87653

Behind the Headlines about Maternal Mortality. (2019, March 14). Behind the Headlines about Maternal Mortality; http://www.ihi.org. http://www.ihi.org/communities/blogs/behind-the-headlines-about-maternal-mortality

Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020. (2022, February 23). Maternal Mortality Rates in the United States, 2020; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/maternal-mortality/2020/maternal-mortality-rates-2020.htm

CDC. (2016, January 1). CDC Newsroom. CDC; http://www.cdc.gov. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0905-racial-ethnic-disparities-pregnancy-deaths.html

NATAL podcast series gives voice to Black birthing experiences. (2021, August 19). Every Child Thrives; everychildthrives.com. https://everychildthrives.com/natal-podcast-series-gives-voice-to-black-birthing-experiences/

Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund. (2020, November 18). Maternal Mortality Maternity Care US Compared 10 Other Countries | Commonwealth Fund; http://www.commonwealthfund.org. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/nov/maternal-mortality-maternity-care-us-compared-10-countries

Quote of the day

Many cultures, particularly in developing countries, continue to believe brain disorders in the context of metaphysical affiliations, exorcisms, taboos, bad luck to the family, et cetera… To this day so many people suffering from mental illness are homeless and left on the streets, where they are mocked, beaten, harassed or jailed.

DMK

Quote of the day

The question is– should individuals of color seek mental health care despite the high likelihood and risk of misdiagnosis, overdiagnosis, and underdiagnosis? Or should they remain put and perhaps devise a means of regaining a semblance of normalcy?

DMK

Quote of the day

If a person of color seeks help from a mental health professional perhaps they are depressed or anxious, they may be misdiagnosed with schizophrenia just because… There is so much prejudice and discrimination that it scares people away from seeking professional treatment.

DMK

Quote of the day

I simply cannot fathom the fact that individuals are either overdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, or not treated at all based on their skin color. The thing is, by the time you misdiagnose someone based on their skin color, you’ve gone too far…

DMK