Black maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi


Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent inMississipp. And racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years. According to a maternal report released Thursday by the state Department of Health.

The Mississippi Mortality Report shows that the maternal mortality. Rate increased by 8.8% between 2013-2016 and 2017-2019. The latter being the most recent period analyzed by the researchers.

The rate for black, non-Hispanic women was four times higher than for white, non-Hispanic women. Meanwhile, the rate for black women increased by 25% while among white women it decreased by 14%. Of deaths directly related to pregnancy, 87.5% were determined to be preventable.

The grim statistics come as the state expects more births each year. In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision last summer to maternal overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established nationwide constitutional protections for abortion. The court used a Mississippi case to overturn the case, a legal effort praised by state leaders.

Mississippi’s Republican-controlled state legislature is debating whethe. To extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a full year after delivery. Apolicy state health official Dr. Supported by Dan Edney and some other leaders

“It is imperative that we take care of our most vulnerable populations now,” Edney said in a statement Thursday. “This is the only way we can move Mississippi’s health status down the charts.”

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann also supports expanding postpartum coverage. A position that puts him at odds with state House Speaker Philip Gunn, a fellow Republican.

“We won the pro-life case maternal and now we don’t want to take care of our mother? I don’t understand how you can make that kind of argument,” Hosemann said at a Jan. 18 press conference.

State senators voted for an extension last year, but it failed in the House amid opposition from Gunn. The speaker said this year that he would support Medicaid only if it was supported by maternal state departments.

. To be pregnancy-related. It found that 42.5% of detected deaths occurred more than 60 days but less than a year after delivery.

Additionally, the committee found that 82.5% of women. Who died from pregnancy complications between 2017. And 2019 were Medicaid recipients.

Cardiovascular conditions accounted for the majority of deaths among black. Non-Hispanic mothers, the report said. Edney said that increasing access to health. Foods can reduce the prevalence of health problems that lead to cardiovascular disease.

Advocates from the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable. An advocacy group, gathered. At the Capitol to ask lawmakers to expand postpartum coverage.

“Our state has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates. In the nation among women of color,” said Cassandra Welchlin, the group’s executive director.

At a legislative hearing on Jan. 13, Edney said the state does not have the medical workforce to address. A wide range of poor health outcomes. Mississippi maternal  has the nation’s highest rates of fetal death. Infant mortality, and preterm birth.

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