We Are Failing Expectant Moms

by Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
SJS Staff Writer

There has been a lot of discussion this campaign season about women, reproduction rights, and healthcare.  A new study carried out by Amnesty International has found that the state of prenatal care is so bad in the United States that it constitutes a human rights crisis. And sadly much of what determines the level of care a pregnant women receives comes down to race and income.

More than two women die every day in the USA from Pregnancy-related caused. 4Maternal deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. Severe complications that result in a women nearly dying, known as a “near miss”, increased by 25 per cent between 1998 and 2005. During 2004 and 2005, 68,433 women nearly died in childbirth in the USA. 5. More than a third of all women who give birth in the USA-1.7 million women each year-experience some type of complication that has an adverse effect on their health. 6. African-American women are at especially high risk; they are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women.

The report offers numerous case studies of women who died or nearly died due to inadequate care.  It also goes on to offer recommendations on how to reform the system.


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