Anti-Abortion States Were Already Failing Pregnant People Before Roe Was Overturned, Study Says

According to a new analysis, mother and infant death rates were already high in states that either outlawed or severely restricted access to abortion this year.

The quality of maternal and newborn healthcare in various states across the United States was determined by researchers at the Commonwealth Fund, an independent nonprofit that works to reduce healthcare inequalities. They were particularly interested in the states that had banned or restricted abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

The historic Supreme Court decision that had secured access to abortion on a federal level for more than 40 years was reversed in June, as SheKnows previously reported. Its unexpected demise made it possible for states to pass and execute legislation that forbade or restricted abortions. 17 states have done so as of now, and more are anticipated to do the same.

However, it turns out that long before Roe was overturned, these states were failing pregnant women. According to a Commonwealth Fund estimate, states that banned abortions this year would have maternal death rates that are 62 percent higher than those where abortions are still legal in 2020. Infant and perinatal mortality rates were greater in anti-abortion states. When it came to patients of color, notably Black and Latinx persons, these inequities were considerably more pronounced.

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One-third of pregnant adults in America now have to drive more than an hour to reach their nearest abortion provider, according to a November report that was published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA).

Dr. Laurie Zephyrin, senior vice president for advancing health equality at the Commonwealth Fund, told NBC News that drawing attention to these problems is essential in the struggle to preserve access to abortion and to promote reproductive healthcare for all Americans.

Keep the issue in the spotlight, Zephyrin urged the news organization, “because that then continues to bring it to awareness for regular people so that individuals who are suffering from these disparities are not suffering in the shadows.” And maybe it will contribute to changing policies.

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