FROM THE REPROACTION BLOG
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Maternal and Infant Mortality Campaign
Reproaction’s maternal and infant mortality campaign aims to raise awareness and get people to participate in direct-actions that hold our leaders accountable for the unnecessarily high maternal and infant mortality rates in Missouri. Our focus is on racial health disparities found between white and Black women, and white and Black babies. Missouri is on par with the nation’s average where Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, and Black babies are twice as likely to die in their first year of life than white babies. At the center of racial health disparities, you’ll find Black women faring the worse, so we center Black women in our work.
One of our priorities is to connect maternal and infant mortality rates with other issues more broadly. For instance, racial health disparities are not limited to maternal and infant mortality, but are also found in the transmission of and treatments for HIV and AIDS, domestic violence, heart disease, and an array of other issues. Despite being the wealthiest nation and outspending every country in the world on healthcare, the United States has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates of every industrialized nation.
Another priority is to call out the lack of leadership and action from political leaders and organizations that claim to be pro-life. Massive healthcare cuts continue to be included in the annual budgets while anti-abortion fake clinics that are registered as religious organizations and posing as healthcare clinics, continuously receive increases in funding via TANF funds, which are block grants issued to states by the federal government that are allotted to feed babies at risk of hunger. These fake clinics are also eligible for tax credits. Yet, these fake clinics do absolutely nothing to address the causes of maternal and infant mortality.
After two years of leading this work in Missouri, we will continue to raise awareness by engaging with communities throughout the state through direct-action, so stay tuned for more film screenings, panels, direct-action protests, and media amplifications. We will also continue uplifting the work of other organizations doing the work by partnering where we can.
The best part about this campaign is that even though the bulk of the work is in Missouri, you don’t have to live in Missouri to take action. We currently have two ways for people to help us raise awareness from anywhere: the first is through our photo campaign and the other is by liking and sharing Reproaction’s social media posts on Mondays or creating your own using the #MaternalMondays hashtag.
For more information on how you and/or your organization can participate and take action through this campaign contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In October, the Black Studies department at the University of Missouri - Columbia held its annual conference. Participants included scholars, advocates, community organizers, doulas, midwives, and nurses.
On average, Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, regardless of wealth or education; Black babies are twice as likely to die in their first year of life than white babies. Missouri’s average maternal and infant mortality rates are on par with this national average.
“Police brutality is a reproductive justice issue, having clean water is a reproductive justice issue,” Woods said in speech she gave to the Boone County Muleskinners in February.