Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, February 24, 2023

What Can Be Done to Protect the Lives of Pregnant Women?

Families, communities, and nations are stronger when pregnant women receive appropriate care. Women should get medical help as soon as they realize that they are pregnant. However, medical help depends on the financial conditions of the individual women.

Emma Pitts published an article at The Daily News about the “alarmingly high” material mortality rate. “According to a report by the World Health Organization, in 2020, 287,000 women died worldwide form pregnancy complications – and most deaths could have been prevented.” The article continued: 

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of women die in childbirth or pregnancy each year. A woman dies every two minutes – most often a preventable death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 700 women die every year of pregnancy complications in the United States alone.

Although there has been a steady decrease in pregnancy-related deaths from 2000 to 2020, some regions are not seeing improvements, while other lower-income regions are now seeing an increase in deaths.

The number of maternal deaths has a strong correlation with the income of the pregnant woman’s country. Lower-income countries have a significantly higher maternal mortality ratio than upper-income countries. This is because many countries cannot afford proper health care or medicine if something were to go wrong during the pregnancy.

The World Health Organization reported that, “The (maternal mortality ratio) in low-income countries in 2020 was 430 per 100,000 live births versus 12 per 100,000 live births in high-income countries.”

The report said the deaths that fall under the category of the maternal mortality ratio are women during pregnancy, childbirth or up to six weeks after giving birth. It also includes unsafe and illegal abortions.

Pitts’ article includes much more material, but the above information shows that pregnancy may be a normal but dangerous condition. I waltzed through my six pregnancies without much fear, but I worried about my daughters by birth and marriage from the time that they announced their pregnancies. Each little baby was prayed over hundreds of times in the months before and after birth, but their mothers also received hundreds of prayers for their health and safety.

I am studying comparative politics this semester and have learned much about different situations in the world. So, I read Pitts’ article as a comparison. Here is one such comparison: “Data collected by The Commonwealth Fund found that the United States has the highest number of death rates for pregnant women of any developed country.” Why are women in America dying from pregnancy-related causes? The cost of medical caused women to skip or delay their medical care! They either lacked health insurance, or they had to deal with high copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

American women may have the highest death rates among developed nations, but “the majority of maternal deaths occur in lower-income countries.” In fact, “Women of reproductive age in Sub-Saharan Africa account for 70% of the global maternal deaths.” However, “Afghanistan has 620 fatalities per 100,000 live births, the highest maternal mortality ratio of deaths reported in Asia.” It seems that some of the rights that women are losing due to Taliban control of the country include “proper health care for themselves and their children.” Mothers are so malnourished there that “they are feeding their newborns tea because they can no longer produce milk.”

According to the “experts,” there are “three main causes for maternal mortality.” They include “infection, severe bleeding and pre-eclampsia.” The experts claim that women need skilled health care at “all stages of the pregnancy” to “prevent these problems from happening.”

Americans probably cannot do much about the deaths of pregnant women in foreign nations. However, the lives of American women should be protected. The problems with insurance were supposed to be solved with Obama Care, but they obviously were not. If we truly want to strengthen families, communities, and nations, we must decrease the number of maternal deaths.

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