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Letter: Mothers, children need better access to health care in ‘pro-life’ state
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Abortion rights and anti-abortion demonstrators display their signs in the lobby of the Georgia State Capitol building Friday, March 22, 2019, during the 35th legislative day in downtown Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) - photo by Associated Press

Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign HB 481, a bill that outlaws abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks. This is a GOP led pro-life bill that has passed in several states recently. The term “pro-life” is used, but are we really “pro-life” when we look at the big picture?

If we want to consider ourselves pro-life, I think it should appall all of us that 79 of our 159 counties in Georgia do not have even one OB-GYN. Obviously prenatal care is critical to the mother and the child, but I have to ask Gov. Kemp and the state legislature if they have the same concern for prenatal care as they do for banning abortion after six weeks.

Unfortunately, Georgia has one of the highest maternal mortality rate in the country. More women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States than any other developed country in the world, and this disproportionately affects black women and other minorities. The Georgia Department of Health stated that 60% of pregnancy-related deaths were preventable, yet many women continue to go without access to adequate, lifesaving health care.

Let’s try this on for size — if a woman dies after childbirth in one of our 79 counties that don’t have an OB-GYN, do you think the child who grows up without his or her mother will consider Georgia “pro-life?” I sure don’t!

The term “pro-life” gets thrown around a lot when it is said regarding anti-abortion policy, but obviously the lives of mother and child are a lot more complicated than just the issues of abortion. I would respectfully ask those who read this letter to ask their elected representatives where they stand on helping every mother and child get a great start in the child’s life.

Steve Deming

Clermont

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