Republicans and pro-life laws often face unsubstantiated blame for high maternal mortality rates in the U.S.
But new research and data from the COVID-19 pandemic present evidence that the claim is absurd. And, in fact, it may be pro-abortion Democrat leaders’ actions that led to an increase in maternal mortality during COVID.
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Open Network this week found a “small but significant increase” in maternal mortality and pregnancy complications between March 2020 and April 2021 at the height of the pandemic, according to The Washington Times.
The researchers examined the outcomes of 1.6 million pregnant patients in 463 hospitals across the United States and found an increase in hypertension, hemorrhaging and maternal deaths when compared to the 14 months prior to the pandemic, the report states.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were increased odds of maternal death during delivery hospitalization, cardiovascular disorders, and obstetric hemorrhage,” the researchers wrote. “… Maternal death during delivery hospitalization increased from 5.17 to 8.69 deaths per 100,000 pregnant patients.”
Meanwhile, live births decreased by 5.2 percent, according to the study.
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Here’s more from the report:
Lead researcher Rose Molina, a gynecologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School, said the use of telehealth and virtual care made pregnant women space out their prenatal visits over longer periods.
“That may have allowed some pregnancy complications to go undetected or unmanaged for longer periods of time during the pandemic than prior to the pandemic,” Dr. Molina said in an email.
Although the study did not examine the causes of maternal deaths, she said “heightened societal stress” may have contributed to the rise in hypertension issues.
The researchers and other experts interviewed by the Washington Times said telehealth/virtual visits rather than in-person appointments with OB-GYNs and “workforce shortages and supply chain delays” also likely were reasons for the increase.
These problems especially were the result of pro-abortion Democrat politicians’ actions, including fearmongering about the virus and lengthy, draconian lockdowns that prevented or scared away pregnant mothers from seeking vital medical care.
Significantly, during the height of the pandemic, many Democrat governors declared abortion to be “essential health care” and allowed abortion facilities to remain open throughout the lockdowns. However, approximately 99 percent of all abortions are purely elective, meaning not for rape, incest or threats to the mother’s life.
So while many pregnant women were prevented from seeing their OB-GYNs in person for prenatal care during COVID-19, they were able to go to abortion facilities to have their unborn babies aborted.
Also notable is new data about abortions during the pandemic. According to the latest abortion numbers from the Guttmacher Institute, abortions increased in 2020 during the pandemic, up 8 percent from 2017.
In other words, it appears that both abortions and maternal mortality increased in 2020.
Although there are many factors that contribute to maternal mortality, pro-life laws are not one of them, and the new research further proves this point.
The lockdowns, the new data and the Biden administration’s decision last week to reject pro-life Texas lawmakers’ request to expand Medicaid to combat maternal mortality all suggest it’s pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers, not pro-lifers, who are putting politics ahead of women’s lives.