Truly a mystery for the ages.

A headline in The Washington Post naturally caught my eye: Why pregnant women in Mississippi keep dying. I clicked the link hoping—I know, silly me!—that I might learn, you know, why pregnant women in Mississippi keep dying?

“The U.S. maternal health community doesn’t know exactly why,” [Priya] Agrawal, [executive director of Merck for Mothers] said. A number of factors may exacerbate the problem, which she called a human rights crisis.

Weird. I’m not part of the “maternal health community” by any stretch, and yet even I know exactly why pregnant women in Mississippi keep dying. [Our for-profit healthcare system. Aww shit I’m sorry. I meant to say: SPOILER ALERT!]

Despite heavy spending, the United States was one of just eight countries to see a rise in maternal mortality over the past decade, ranking 60 for pregnancy-related deaths on a list of 180 countries, according to research last year from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Other countries that also saw a rise in maternal mortality included Afghanistan, Greece, El Salvador and South Sudan.

We are number 60! GO USA!

The United States is the only advanced economy in the world with a rising maternal mortality rate.

American exceptionalism FTW. Makes me so proud. :D

Deaths related to childbirth in the United States are nearing the highest rate in a quarter-century. An estimated 18.5 mothers died for every 100,000 births in 2013, compared with 7.2 per 100,000 in 1987. This means a woman giving birth here is twice as likely to die than in Saudi Arabia and three times as likely than in the United Kingdom.

And it turns out that Mississippi is totally THE WORST.

Mississippi’s maternal mortality rate, one of the highest in the country, has been climbing for more than a decade. From 2010 to 2012, the last measure, an average of nearly 40 women died for every 100,000 births. Risk varied drastically by race: The rate for black women, 54.7, was much higher than the rate for white women, 29.3.

Mississippi, for example, did not expand Medicaid, leaving 107,000 people — nearly half of whom are women — with no insurance options at all, according to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. It also has the country’s lowest physician-to-resident ratios: 159.4 doctors for every 100,000 people.

Thanks for ruining the curve FOR EVERYONE, racist Mississippi. You’re making us all look bad compared to that Mecca of women’s rights, Saudi Arabia. (OMFG see what I did there? I crack myself up!)

The cost of care for pregnant women, meanwhile, has sharply risen. The average cost of delivery here has nearly tripled since 1996, according to a Truven Health Analytics analysis for the New York Times. Maternal and newborn care make up the largest category of hospital payouts for most insurers and state Medicaid programs. Our country’s approximate four million annual births cost more than $50 billion.

Call me cynical (hahaha. unapologetically guilty.) but does the medical-industrial-complex—that would be the exact same medical-industrial-complex that routinely denies abortion doctors the admitting privileges required under state TRAP laws—have an interest in forcing women to give birth?

I think I’ma stir my cocktail with a coat hanger tonight. Cheers.

1 thought on “Truly a mystery for the ages.

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