reproductive and maternal health

Pixabay

Some doctors see access to birth control as a tool in the fight to decrease maternal and infant mortality. Indiana has one of the nation’s worst rates of new mothers and infants dying, and those rates are even worse for black women.

But a history of abuse has led to distrust of health care professionals in communities of color. 

On Tuesday, a panel of experts tackled the subject of maternal and infant mortality -- and the unequal burden on African-Americans in Indiana. They dove into a wide range of issues -- from low breast-feeding rates to the implicit bias of some doctors -- and shared some grim statistics.   

Lauren Bavis / Side Effects Public Media

Courtney Reimlinger was breastfeeding her week-old son last year when she felt a pain in her chest.

The pain was excruciating, the 23-year-old Indianapolis native remembers, much worse than the 10 hours in labor she'd spent a week before. It spread up her neck and into her head, and soon she was slipping in and out of consciousness.

The annual March for Life rally in Washington, DC, January 2013
American Life League via Flickr/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The undercover videos purporting to show officials of Planned Parenthood bargaining over the sale of fetal tissue have made the promise to defund the organization one of the most popular refrains on the Republican presidential campaign trail.

It’s actually a much easier promise to make than to fulfill. But that’s not slowing down the candidates.