Maternal mortality rate could worsen with new restrictions on abortion – WABE

Banning abortion could increase Georgia’s maternal death rate more dramatically than previously thought, according to a new analysis of data released since the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Women’s health experts warned long before the Roe decision that banning abortion would worsen maternal health outcomes. Now, researchers at the University of Colorado predicted what those dangers would entail under a hypothetical nationwide abortion ban.

Using data recently released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they estimate that in the years following an abortion ban, maternal deaths would increase by 24% overall.

That number would be higher in Georgia and other states where maternal mortality rates are already high, according to the study, with researchers estimating that maternal deaths would increase by 29%.

Georgia abortion advocates deny that limits on abortion access pose a risk to maternal health.

The Colorado study authors call for increased access to reproductive care and other services to make pregnancy and childbirth safer, especially for black people, who continue to suffer from the lowest maternal mortality rates. higher.

“There is a strong network of black-led research demonstrating how we can better support black pregnant women who are at 2-3 times the risk of dying because they are pregnant compared to other groups,” said said Amanda Stevenson, assistant professor of sociology. at CU Boulder and lead author of the study.

Following the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion suggesting the court would overrule Roe, a coalition that includes medical professionals and medical associations including the American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Nurse Midwives and others issued a letter in support of preserving access to abortion.

“Combined with higher maternal mortality rates and poorer health outcomes, the denial of access to abortion only increases health risks and disparities for those who are already disadvantaged: black women are three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women, and indigenous women have pregnancies. -death rates linked to twice as high as white women,” the letter read.

Read the full letter on the Committee for the Protection of Healthcare’s website.

In an effort to address maternal mortality, state lawmakers passed legislation signed last session by Governor Brian Kemp extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to one year postpartum. The law entered into force on July 1, 2022.

Georgia is among a dozen states that have not fully expanded Medicaid health insurance coverage.

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