According to an analysis of federal data, the states with the strictest abortion laws are also one of the most difficult places to raise and raise a healthy child, especially for the poor.
The findings raise questions about the strength of the social safety net as these states prepare to further limit or ban access to abortion following an expected U.S. Supreme Court decision later this year. The burden is likely to be heavier for low -income people who are more likely to have an abortion in another state where the method is widely available.
According to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control, Mississippi has the nation’s largest share of children living in poverty and low birth weight. Texas has the highest number of women not receiving antenatal care in the first trimester and is second only to the percentage of children in poverty who are uninsured, the data shows.
Both state laws on abortion access are at the center of the national struggle. The conservative majority in the Supreme Court expressed a desire to destroy or overthrow the case of Mississippi v. Ro Wade.
Anti-abortion lawmakers say they will be more supportive of adoption and adoption programs if abortion is banned, as well as funding alternatives to abortion programs.
If the roe is removed, 26 states are convinced, or can ban abortion, quickly, according to the Gutmacher Institute, a think tank that promotes the right to abortion. Many of these states have gotten a bad spot on the dimensions that non-partisan advocacy groups believe are key to ensuring a healthy start for children.
The data analyzed by the AP reflects the barriers faced by pregnant women and their children in states with the strictest restrictions on abortion and how access to resources may be lacking in states that also have more abortion laws.
Jasmine Arroyo, a 25-year-old single mother in Kokomo, Indiana, was forced to stop working as a foster mother after giving birth to her first child because she could not afford daycare.
Aroyo got a job as a restaurant host but did not offer insurance, and her second child has a heart defect. He already has thousands of unpaid medical bills.
“I never thought how hard it was,” he said.
Indiana has the second highest rate of women – 18 percent not receiving antenatal care in the first trimester and has a high percentage of uninsured children in poverty – more than 9 percent.
The AP analyzed data from various federal government agencies into seven categories – metrics identified by some nonprofits and experts as important for determining whether children have a healthy start.
In general, countries that passed abortion prevention prohibitions or laws that significantly restricted access to abortion had the worst marks. Alabama and Louisiana join Mississippi as the top three states with the highest percentage of low birth weight babies. Texas, Indiana, and Mississippi have the highest percentage of women who do not receive antenatal care in the first trimester.
In response to the PA’s findings, many conservative state lawmakers said women could give up their newborns for adoption and they said they would support increased funding for foster care programs. In Oklahoma, pro tempore GOP Senate President Greg Treit said he would work to raise wages for child care workers and adoptive parents using state money.
“There will be an obligation, but it will not be a new obligation. “It’s going to be an ongoing effort on our part,” he said.
Some democratically controlled states, which have more permissible abortion laws, are also not rated in certain categories.
New Mexico ranks third in the percentage of children living in poverty, Delaware ranks fifth in the percentage of women not receiving early antenatal care, and California ranks fifth – between Oklahoma and Arkansas – in percentage of women and children. on meal vouchers.
These countries are generally different. For most, the data presents a greater challenge for infants, children and their parents in states that restrict abortion.
Abortion restrictions and disruptive economic data are not directly related, but finances are one of the main reasons why women seek abortion, says Diana Green Foster, a professor of reproductive science at the University of California. San. Francisco.
Babies born to women who have been denied abortion are more likely to live in a family where there is not enough money for basic living expenses, her newspaper showed.
Last year, Texas passed an unusual law that leaves abortion enforcement to civilians after six weeks, a law that has been largely overturned by the Supreme Court.
Maleeha Aziz, organizer of the Texas Equal Access Fund, had an abortion when she was a college student for 20 years after the miscarriage failed. He also suffered from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes constant and severe nausea and vomiting.
“I am a vegetable. I can’t move, “said Aziz, who later gave birth to a daughter.” Pregnancy is no joke. It’s the hardest thing the human body can handle. “
In Texas, 20 percent of women do not receive prenatal care in the first trimester, according to pregnancy risk assessment data collected by the CDC in 2016, which is the most recent data from that state. Lack of antenatal care increases the risk of maternal death or low birth weight.
The enemies of Texas Abortion are also referring to a program called Abortion Alternatives. Like similar groups in other states, it funds pregnancy counseling, adoption services, and classes on life skills, budgeting, and parenting.
“This social networking site is really very important in our minds to support pregnant women and expectant families,” said John Sigo, Texas legal director for the right to life.
Most of these groups, commonly known as pregnancy crisis centers, are not licensed to provide medical assistance.
A former Associated Press reporter is. AP screenwriter Sean Murphy also contributed to Oklahoma City; Casey Smith of Indianapolis; And Jamie Stengley in Dallas; And data reporter Linda Gorman in Boston. Former AP writers Iris Samuels in Helena, Montana and Melinda Deslate in Mr. Rouge. Louisiana also contributed.
Fassett is a member of the Associated Press / Report for the America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that puts reporters in the local news to cover up hidden issues.