Reproductive Writes: Breaking The Bond

Holly Grigg-Spall
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ABC News has uncovered an as-yet-unreleased report from the California Department of Health that shows that the number of maternal deaths in the US has tripled in the last decade. In a recent post I talked about the infant mortality rate - suggesting that anti-abortionist should study the figures carefully, which put this country far behind most Western societies. Maternal mortality refers to women who die soon after giving birth as a result of complications caused by the labor. The rate has risen significantly, from 5.6 to 16.9 per 100,000.

Half of these deaths are considered ‘preventable’ - many are believed to be caused by the increase in Cesarean sections, as well as missed warning signs during the pregnancy. It is not reaching to assume both causes are at least partly the result of an elitist, for-profit healthcare system that contains an inherent disrespect for human life. A system driven by two industries - the insurance and the pharmaceutical - that want women operated on, medicated and in and out of hospital quickly. A system that doesn’t want women to die - it just doesn’t care if they live.

Such a situation is shocking in a country with wealth and resources beyond that available to all of the 33 countries that show far lower rates. If the infant mortality rate in the US is the ultimate example of the hypocrisy of the religious right, and strong evidence of their anti-woman agenda - then the maternal mortality rate starkly reveals the hollowness of their rhetoric. The people who want to reverse Roe Vs Wade are the same people who are blocking health care reform.

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5 Comments Have Been Posted


What a shocking statistic. I hate that every time we turn around these days there is another reason to hate the US health care system, yet still many people don't want to do anything to fix it. Grrr.

I am wondering, did anyone get a chance to see "The Office" on Thursday night? For a network sitcom they were surprisingly candid about the state of birth care in our system (at least based on what I know of it), especially when Jim and Pam wanted to stay longer in the hospital but they were made to leave. I just wondered what other people thought of that representation and whether or not it might be a comment on health care reform.



Here's a piece from the LA Times today regarding the healthcare experience of minority and low income women in the LA area.


'African American women were far more likely to suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, and to die from chronic illnesses. For example, although white women had a higher incidence of breast cancer, African American women were more likely to die from the disease.'

Interesting. And terrible.

I'm reading this after just reading in this article ( about how popular sentiment is that feminism is over, women are equal, case closed, leaving the door open for new breeds of sexism. These statistics are even more glaring example of all the work that still needs to be done.


Susan J. Douglas! She is the bomb. She has a new book out about this called "Enlightened Sexism," and everyone should read it.

This is so sad. You would

This is so sad. You would think that disturbing news like this would be shouted from every media outlet in America. But I guess people are too busy talking about Tiger, or is it some one else now? We need to get our priorites strait.

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