The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it will be awarding $9 million to help launch the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, with the goal of improving maternal health care. In a news release, HHS explained that Texas, Missouri, and New Mexico will each receive up to $600,000 in a planning year, and then up to $800,000 in three subsequent years to implement the program, by piloting, testing, and developing models that improve access to maternal obstetrical care in rural communities.
As the American Hospital Association has explained, women living in rural communities do not always have access to quality health care services. In 2014, 54% of rural counties lacked hospital-based OB services, and as rural hospitals close, the problem may only get worse.
“Strengthening rural and maternal health are important priorities for HHS and the Trump Administration. This program’s investments will support both of these priorities by developing new and innovative networks to improve rural maternal care,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the news release announcing the program. “By testing out approaches through pilot programs, we can lay the groundwork for making a real impact on these important health challenges.”
It’s not unusual for abortion advocates to argue that pro-lifers only care about saving the lives of preborn children — and don’t care about what happens to women. Yet as this new initiative shows, pro-lifers frequently not only champion for an end to abortion, but also for improved conditions for all people. Being pro-life means believing in and protecting the dignity and right to life for everyone, from conception until natural death.
This program will also provide care to women who otherwise would not get it, despite the constant claim from abortion activists that women need Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer funding so they can have access to health care. The reality is, Planned Parenthood does not provide substantial health care services. In fact, the few services the corporation offers have been significantly decreasing in number in recent years, including cancer screenings, which declined 67 percent from 2006 to 2016.
Programs like these also show that pro-life initiatives do not mean women’s health is put at risk. A common refrain is that pro-life laws increase maternal mortality (which is absolutely false), but politicians passing pro-life laws are not incapable or unwilling to put programs int place addressing women’s health care, while also protecting the lives of preborn children. The health care provided to women through programs like RMOMS is health care that the abortion industry isn’t providing, yet somehow no one accuses abortionists of caring only about abortion.
Providing much-needed health care for women is pro-life, and this new program may help give better care for rural pregnant women and help stem some of the desperation women feel — desperation that may lead them to abortion. A lack of access to prenatal and obstetrical care is a serious problem, and this will hopefully take the country one step closer towards a solution.
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