From a tragic case in Massachusetts has emerged a rule affirming women’s fundamental personhood: “All births, regardless of venue, carry inherent risks; in the ordinary course, competent women who are pregnant may weigh these risks themselves and make decisions about the course of their own pregnancies and childbirths.”
We in North Carolina are enduring yet another vicious attack on the rights of pregnant and childbearing individuals. Women seeking home births may have the legal right to do so, but just like the women seeking abortion care, these laws do nothing to protect access.
Race-based maternal health disparities are no longer a concern of the minority — they are a concern of the majority. And they should be a top priority. If Medicaid doesn’t make room for alternative, potentially life saving maternal health models, we risk endangering the health of generations to come.
There is a disturbing trend on the rise in the U.S., one that crosses into many arenas — from legislation to insurance policy to our judicial system to the way individuals interact with their medical providers. The trend? Making women responsible for healthy birth outcomes and jailing them when they don’t meet this unattainable standard.
If not for the intervention of my own doctor, I could have been Christine Taylor or, even more frightening, Bei Bei Shuai.
Last week the UN released its latest estimates on global maternal deaths, just two years after the last figure. From 1990 to 2010, they found, the number of women dying from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes worldwide dropped from 543,000 to 287,000, a near-fifty percent reduction in fatalities.
In all the debate about breastfeeding and parenting, I know some choices will work for some mothers and not for others. But it is critical that as a society, we have the policies and infrastructure in place to support those decisions.
We thought passing our antishackling bill would be easy. After all, who would want to be seen arguing that pregnant women should wear chains?
A change in a proposed bill in New Hampshire may leave infertile women and couples seeking in-vitro fertilization with few options.
With all due respect to the late President Bingu, his death opened a rare window for reform Malawi, and golden opportunity – especially for Malawi’s women. Joyce Banda is a widely respected and heralded champion for women’s rights and health, and has never been shy to speak her mind about it.