MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin used an AP article on the social programs in pro-life states as a launching pad for his claims that states which move to ban or heavily restrict abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned cannot and will not be able to care for the babies who are born within their borders.
“Red states aren’t prepared for a post-Roe baby boom,” he claimed, “if the Supreme Court does in fact overturn Roe v. Wade. The red states poised to ban or severely limit abortions already tend to have limited access to health care, they have poor health outcomes, and fewer safety net programs in place for mothers and children. The ensuing increase in births will likely leave families in tough circumstances, in strained systems that are already hanging by a thread in these states.”
Mohyeldin brought in a Planned Parenthood abortionist, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, to help explain this problem, but Kumar never addressed the issue of helping mothers and babies to get the resources they need. After all, this is the realm of pro-life pregnancy centers, which are currently under attack by pro-abortion terrorist groups.
Instead of advocating for better safety nets, Kumar resorted to the erroneous (and frequent) pro-abortion talking point that women will die without abortion access — and therefore, death is asserted as the solution.
Resources for women and babies in pro-life states
While work needs to be done in many areas of the country to ensure that babies and their mothers receive proper health care and resources, it is inaccurate to claim that all pro-life states fail women and their babies in these matters.
According to KFF, many states, including pro-life states such as Louisiana, have implemented a 12-month extension on their Medicaid coverage for women who have given birth. Rather than the 60 days of postpartum coverage that was offered previously, 15 states are planning to implement the 12-month extension while 16 states already have. Three states, including Texas, have either approved or proposed a six-month extension. Research has shown that Medicaid expansion is associated with a decrease in maternal mortality of 6.65 deaths (including late maternal deaths) per 100,000 live births compared to states that did not expand Medicaid coverage.
As more states realize the life-saving effects of expanding Medicaid coverage for postpartum women, more women and babies will thrive. On the other hand, a lack of proper coverage does not justify killing babies because their mothers’ health care coverage might be cut off when the child is 60 days old. (After all, a lack of proper housing doesn’t justify killing homeless people, and a lack of food doesn’t justify killing those suffering from food insecurity. Homicide is a problem, never a solution.)
As for other resources that pregnant and postpartum women need, pro-life pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations are working to assist women and their babies. These groups offer material goods, housing, parenting classes, resources that connect them to child care and health care, and more. Care Net has created a program for churches to implement that allows the church community to rally around women, supporting them in all of their individual needs — including tutoring older children, providing respite for the mother, and helping them with home maintenance.
Maternal mortality rates in pro-life states
To claim that maternal mortality rates will rise if Roe is overturned is utter nonsense meant to manipulate the emotions of compassionate Americans. A 10-year study published in the BMJ Open medical journal found that “no evidence of deleterious or beneficial effect [on maternal mortality] was found for the presence of constitutional amendments protecting the unborn over a 4-year study period.”
The study did, however, find that “states with less permissive abortion legislation exhibited lower MMR [maternal mortality rates]” than those in which abortion laws are more permissive. The same findings can be seen in other countries where abortion has been restricted.
In 1971 and 1972, prior to Roe, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. was 18.8 per 100,000 live births. Since Roe legalized abortion in 1973, the maternal mortality rate has only increased. In 2020, it was 23.8 per 100,000 live births. Research also shows that countries that have banned abortion saw their maternal mortality rates improve. In Poland, where abortion was banned in almost all cases in 1989, the maternal mortality rate has dropped from 17 to two. Likewise, El Salvador banned abortion in 1998 and saw its maternal mortality rate drop from 155 to 46.
The United States has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world. Research indicates that overturning Roe would actually save women’s lives.
Even in a perfect world, these men would want abortion legal
Even if all pregnant women, postpartum women, and babies had access to the best medical care in the world, and even if there were a maternal mortality rate of zero in the United States, abortion advocates like Mohyeldin and Kumar would still not want Roe to be overturned. Abortion enthusiasts — and those who profit financially off of abortion such as Kumar — want abortion to be legal through all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, period. It will never matter to them how many months Medicaid is offered or how much support pro-life organizations or the government give to women and children.
Legalized abortion will always be their goal because the vision of Margaret Sanger still lives on: ensure that poor women stop having babies, making sure to make discrimination look like compassion and empowerment.
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