The Hill cited the analysis of the reproductive landscape post-Dobbs, “The 2023 State Legislative Sessions: The Next Abortion Battleground,” an article co-authored by Erin Sutton, Richard H. Hughes, IV, Virginia Wilson, and Kathryn Finerty, attorneys in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in “Pregnancy-Related Deaths More Likely in States with Abortion Bans: Research,” by Gianna Melillo.

Following is an excerpt:

Mothers who live in states that banned abortion after the overturn of Roe v Wade are up to three times more likely to die during pregnancy, childbirth or shortly thereafter, according to a new report from the Gender Equity Policy Institute (GEPI). The research was first reported by Axios. 

Prior to the case’s overturn, the United States had the worst maternal mortality rate among developed countries, while rates were particularly high among women of color. Data from 2018 show maternal deaths were more than two times higher among Black mothers than their white counterparts.

However, the new GEPI report found maternal mortality in the United States nearly doubled from 2018 to 2021, with Black women almost three times as likely to die in pregnancy, childbirth, or right after giving birth compared with white women. 

Native American women are also more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than those in other racial and ethnic groups. In 2021, the maternal mortality rate for these individuals was 4.5 times that of white mothers and 1.7 times that of Black mothers.

In the GEPI report, researchers classified states as supportive, restrictive or banned, based on their level of support for reproductive health care. Maternal and infant health outcomes from 2015 to 2021 were compared using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census American Community Survey, along with other sources. 

Post Roe’s overturn, six in 10 women now live in states that ban abortion or curtail reproductive freedom, while seven in 10 Black women live in states that ban or restrict abortion care, the report shows. In addition, babies born in states where abortion is banned are 30 percent more likely to die in their first month of life, the report found. 

But “for those who live in one of the 22 states which support reproductive freedom, the trends are largely positive,” the report authors wrote. “The health and well-being of women and babies in these states outpaces that of those living in states which ban or restrict abortion care. This is true across nearly all indicators.”

Within six months of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, 15 states banned abortion, while more are expected to restrict access in upcoming legislative sessions. 

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