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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

5k new babies in Mississippi, what to do?

I thought this article was interesting, post dobbs, five thousand new kids expected in the state with the worst maternal statistics in the nation, Mississippi and the folks there don't know what they will do with them? Keep in mind that these are republicans talking to each other here, this is not a bi partisan discussion.

At least 5,000 more babies will be born in Mississippi each year than in the past now that abortion is almost completely outlawed. But the Magnolia State is not prepared to handle it, officials say. Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Edney shared the estimate with members of the Mississippi Senate last week.

During the Sept. 28 hearing, Wiggins told Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services Commissioner Andrea Sanders that Edney’s testimony indicated that most of the additional 5,000 children born will be “unwanted or unplanned.” He said that about 60% of children in those circumstances “are on Medicaid” and “end up in the system.”

“So are y’all prepared for 5,000 additional kids across the state?” Wiggins asked Sanders.

“No sir. Not by myself, I’m not,” replied the MDCPS commissioner, whose agency oversees child welfare issues including foster care, child abuse and neglect. MDCPS estimates that there are currently about 4,000 Mississippi children currently in foster care.

“So that’s something we should be concerned about,” Wiggins said.

Guess they should have thought about that.

CDC data also shows that Mississippi leads the nation in births to unmarried motherspreterm birthsmiscarriages and low birthweight rates. Mississippi has one of the nation’s highest maternal mortality rates. In each instance, Black and other non-white infants and mothers fared significantly worse than white ones.

From 2013 to 2016, Mississippi’s pregnancy-related maternal mortality rate was 1.9 times higher than the U.S. as a whole, with Black women at three times the risk of white women.

More than half of Mississippi’s 82 counties do not have an OB-GYN, and many do not have hospitals. Less than a month before the Dobbs decision, a Hancock County hospital closed its labor and delivery department.

During the last legislative term alone, Speaker Gunn killed or declined to support efforts to provide health care options for new mothers. This spring, Republican Mississippi Sen. Kevin Blackwell, R-Southaven, sponsored a bill that would have ensured that low-income new mothers in Mississippi have access to postpartum Medicaid coverage for 12 months after giving birth. Currently, that coverage is only available for two months.

The Republican-led Mississippi Senate voted 46-5 for the postpartum Medicaid extension. On the Senate floor, Blackwell referenced the state’s history of passing anti-abortion laws.

“I think we’ve done an excellent job of protecting the baby in the womb. But once it’s out of the womb it’s like, ‘Whoop!’ You’re on your own,” he said.

In March, though, the bill died for the second year in a row after Mississippi House leaders refused to put it to a vote. Gunn acknowledged to AP’s Emily Wagster Pettus that his decision to spike the bill came from a fear of the appearance of “Medicaid expansion.”

1 comment:

Jon Harwood said...

Jonathan Swift had some ideas on this topic.