maternal health care

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California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth
The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here's why.
By Julia Belluz

This is a huge reason why women should not be forced to have children. If it’s your dream then go for it but no one should be forced to do something they could potentially DIE from.

The War on Women

Let me dissect the following for just a moment.

Let me be frank before I continue: I support access to safe pregnancy termination. I support access to contraception. I support maternity leave. I support health care for all. Just so there are no illusions before I take a shit all over this stupidity presented here.

No abortion. The last time I check, Roe v. Wade has not been overturned. There are regulations on late-term abortion, because at a certain point, the pregnancy isn’t just a clump of cells. If you think that conservatives are against abortion because they hate women, you’re just willfully in denial. It’s completely rational that when they believe it’s the murder of a baby, they see it as a moral issue that needs to be spoken up about. I can reasonably understand their feelings, while still concluding that they’re wrong. But seriously - abortion has not been taken away.

No birth control. Contraception has not been banned. You can still get it. You’re just merely back to having to expend for a co-pay to get it. It sucks. I’m against the rollback of the mandate. The mandate was only based on the co-pay though. The prescription itself was only free based on your insurance plan. If you were covered before, you still are. Birth control has not been taken away.

No maternity leave. While it’s an easily verifiable fact that the U.S. has one of the worst maternity leave mandates in the first world, FMLA has not been repealed in over 20 years. You are allowed 12 weeks unpaid leave. It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially in this country. But 12 weeks unpaid leave is 12 weeks longer than no maternity leave - which makes this particular one an outright lie. Maternity leave has not been taken away.

No health care for your kids. I’m really not sure what this has to do with a supposed war on women. Do only women raise kids all of a sudden? Also, what law has been put on the books that takes away health care for kids? The ACA hasn’t even been repealed yet. You’re in no different of a position for health care today than you were 5 years ago. Health care for your kids hasn’t been taken away.

No health care for you. Now, I’m going to play devil’s advocate and guess this has to do with the Republican’s attack against Planned Parenthood in just the last year alone. I’m vehemently against it. Planned Parenthood isn’t some chop shop for fetuses. They provide necessary preventative care at an affordable rate for women, care that is much needed, such as testing for different cancers that are more prone for women. Last time I checked, Planned Parenthood was still around. You can still get that sort of health care from them if you need it, even if they don’t have the support of federal dollars. Your insurance should otherwise cover you now, there is a preventative care mandate in the ACA. Health care for women hasn’t been taken away.

The supposed “War on Women” is one of the most intangible things connected to third/fourth-wave feminism; it’s undoubtedly a gross over-exaggeration. It’s like when Fox News likes to complain about the “War on Christmas” every winter (wait for it, we’re a couple months away right now). There’s no real evidence that anyone is actually engaging in any sort of culture war of this magnitude, but everyone wants to be victimized by something, and some of those people need to victimize themselves to extreme degrees. Any time we talk about a war on anything, it’s without rationality. Whether we’re engaging a war on something (drugs, terrorism, etc) and ultimately just make the problem worse, or otherwise never see any real results other than wasted money, effort, and lives are thrown in the garbage; or we’re projecting that a war is being directed at us (women, Christmas, etc), it’s always improperly calculated.

Seriously, there’s not a “war” on women. There are certain things women get a bad shake for still, I’m not going to deny that. There are a great many things men, in particular, get a bad shake for. You certainly don’t hear a cascading narrative that there’s a “War on Men” though. You just get a movement put in place where men talk about those very things, and ultimately become villainized by people who literally believe there’s a war on women.

Sometimes things just suck for people, and maybe part of the problem is that people think only their problems matter. Maybe not. Who knows. But I would conclude that until abortion is made completely illegal, contraceptive has been branded completely illegal, maternity leave is not at all allowed, and children and women don’t have access to health care at all, and furthermore that these things no longer exist specifically to detriment women - then let’s stop proselytizing the idea that there’s an actual war on a gender.


Here’s What Giving Birth Looks Like — In Two Very Different Worlds

Nearly one-fifth of all deaths among women ages 15 to 49 in Tanzania are related to pregnancy and labor. In Sweden the maternal mortality rate is one of the world’s lowest — just four women per 100,000 childbirths.

“I had the feeling Swedish women were acting out more, screaming more, even if they had painkillers.”




United Nations Study Finds U.S. Way Behind In Women’s Rights

The U.S. is just one of seven nations that hasn’t yet ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Iran, Somalia and Sudan are some of the other countries on the list. The UN committee reports, “There is a myth that women already enjoy all these rights and protections under US law. However, there are missing rights and protections such as universal paid maternity leave, accessible reproductive health care and equal opportunity in standing for political election.”



Sec. Hillary Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights

Hillary slaying a question about the role of U.S. government supporting access to safe abortion, contraception, maternal health care and education abroad with a vigorous defense of reproductive rights and family planning.

When I think about the suffering that I have seen of women around the world, I have been to hospitals in Brazil where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting new babies and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortions. 

I have been in African countries where 12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children. I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to a life of oppression and hardship.

So we have a very fundamental disagreement.

Photo by Lynsey Addario/VII

“As I was finishing my shift at 7 a.m., the ambulance rolled in with a 17-year-old pregnant girl in a coma…” Betty Raney, an MSF OBGYN, spent 6 months working in Sierra Leone. Read the latest excerpts from her journal:

all offense intended i’d honestly strand every republican on a deserted island in the South Pole if it meant millions of people (particularly disabled people and children) could keep their health care, immigrant families could stay together, gun control laws could pass, people who are lgbt+ could live safe lives without being told they’re invalid, and women could get the health/maternal care they need

Hey friendly reminder that the guy so many Americans suck up to so bad, Reagan, tried to abolish the Department of Education and tried to destroy programs like school busing, succeeded in removing programs that gave public service jobs for non-profit organizations to the unemployed, and is the reason why so many mentally ill people end up in prison since there’s nowhere else for them to go

Photo by Andrea Bruce

Most newborn & maternal deaths happen in the postnatal period.  Much of MSF’s work is devoted to preventing these types of deaths.  Read about how MSF cares for women and babies by offering pre and postnatal care in Chapter 2 of Because Tomorrow Needs Her:

April 11, 2016: International Day for Maternal Health and Rights

Pregnant teens wait to be seen at the Tan Ux’il adolecent clinic in Petén, Guatemala, a partner of Planned Parenthood Global. 

Did you know that Latin America is the only region in the world where births among girls under 15 years old is on the rise? And nearly 90% of pregnancies in girls under 14 years old are the result of rape. Forcing a girl to carry a pregnancy to term puts her at risk for severe physical and mental health complications, and even death. 

Access to safe and comprehensive maternal health care, including safe abortion, is a human right. That’s why Planned Parenthood Global is proud to join global health activists from around the world in recognizing today, April 11, as the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights. Today especially, the maternal health of some of the most marginalized communities around the world must be front and center. 

Learn more about Stolen Lives, a research project to document the physical and mental health effects of forced motherhood on girls 9-14 years old in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru.

anonymous asked:

I’m confused about women’s health issues, including access to abortion, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, etc. Could you write a layperson’s version of what we’re facing in the USA in 2017? You have a lot of experience as a nurse and midwife, and a great deal of education, plus you’ve worked with all sorts of populations around the world. That’s something I liked about marching on Saturday. I marched to support rights of women in ALL countries, including American women living in poverty. Thank you

Oh dear anon… this would be much easier to answer if you asked me to reply in 100 words or fewer. I shall attempt to do my best to answer your question.  

I will say at the outset I wish women did not ever have to choose to have an abortion. I have spent nearly 30 years working with women, so I’ve spoken more often than the average bear to women who have had an abortion. But I’ve yet to meet a woman who has said, “I’m happy I had an abortion.” There may be women who are happy they’ve had an abortion - I’ve just never met one.

Every woman I know who has aborted feels sadness and/or guilt to some degree. Still some women will choose to abort, and if abortion is illegal in the US, many women will find a way to self-abort, or at least they will attempt it. This means more women will die. Some of my older colleagues have cared for women who tried to self-abort. To a person, they say “never again should women in the US be forced to try to end a pregnancy without competent and skilled care.”

In a perfect world, all pregnancies would happen at a time in a women’s life when she is supported and loved. That perfect world does not exist. I do not believe Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but I DO believe the Trump administration will cut funding to Planned Parenthood. There are about 650 PP locations in the U.S. In addition to abortion services, PP clinics provide STD treatment, pap smears, breast exams, and family planning services.

It is well documented the U.S. is facing an increasing shortage of maternity care providers:,,

About 50 percent of all counties in the US do not have a maternity care provider, i.e. an OB-GYN, Nurse-Midwife, or Family Physician qualified to provide care to childbearing women. The good news is the recent Improving Access to Maternity Care Act, a bipartisan bill that would require the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to identify regional shortages of maternity health professionals around the country. The bill would allow the National Health Service Corps, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services created to address medical provider shortages in underserved areas, to place more OB-GYNs and certified nurse midwives in those areas. The bill goes next to the Senate and if passed there, it goes on to the President’s desk for signature.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, has enabled millions of previously uninsured persons to obtain health care coverage. Vulnerable populations have benefited greatly under health care reform. Many of us are wary about what the nation’s new political landscape portends for health care benefits, particularly for poor and hard-to-insure people. The ACA has enabled health insurance coverage to reach an all-time high in our country, with more than 90 percent of individuals in the U.S. covered, but it is under grave threat.

The Trump administration has already begun to repeal major provisions of the ACA. With Republican majorities in Congress, and a president uniting with them in opposition to the ACA, the path for repeal legislation to pass and be signed into law is wide open. This would be devastating to the 22 million Americans who have benefited from the law’s provisions, and to those who care for them. The ACA is not perfect - President Obama was the first to admit tweaking was necessary in several areas. But repealing major provisions without having a clear replacement plan ready for implementation is foolish and shortsighted.

What saddens me most about what I’ve heard from the Trump administration about health care is the seemingly increased focus on American nationalism - the “make America great” and “America first” mentality - will likely lead to significant decreases in foreign aid to organizations providing care to vulnerable populations globally. We are not an isolated island, we do not stand alone, we are all interconnected, and we will be much less the country our foremothers and forefathers intended us to be if we turn our backs on the suffering people of our world.

Photo by Andrea Bruce

Twin newborns in MSF’s hospital in Khost, Afghanistan. The postnatal period is the most dangerous time for mothers and babies: 75% of all neonatal deaths and more than 35% of maternal deaths occur during the first week after birth. Read stories from the field about the challenges to providing pre and postnatal care in Because Tomorrow Needs Her: