NYC Maternal Mortality 30% Higher Than 10 Years Ago
A new report shows that women in New York City are 30% more likely to die as a result of childbirth than they were over a decade ago. The report [PDF] produced by the Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest and published by The New York Women's Foundation looked at the economic, educational, and health conditions for New York women in the 59 city districts.
The results show that the rates of maternal mortality have sharply increased for women of color and low-income communities, specifically black women and in the Bronx and Morrisiana neighborhoods. Black women had a maternal mortality rate of 79 deaths per every 100,000 live births, almost double the rate of 40 deaths per 100,000 live births from ten years ago. In contrast, white women only experienced a rate of 10 deaths per every 100,000 live births.
C. Nicole Mason, the author of the report, told reporters that the increase in deaths was most likely the result of poor prenatal and postpartum care, in addition to a higher rate of c-sections, and other health factors. "We really need to think about how women in poor communities are treated from the time they become pregnant until they deliver, and whether they're getting the health care they deserve," she said.
In addition, the report found a disproportionate rate of new HIV infections in the city occur among black women and Latinas. Black women comprise 65% of new HIV infections in New York City, while Latinas are 30% of new infections. Ana Oliveira, president of the New York Women's Foundation, told reporters that stigma contributes to the discouraging figures. "There is a lot of fear and stigma," she said. "People not only have to deal with the physical reality, but the social stigma. It delays people seeking care."
Media Resources: Daily Mail 4/9/2013; Opposing Views 4/9/2013; New York Daily News 4/8/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .