The Palpable Pain In Texas

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An abortion rights demonstrator chants slogans as they march near the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, June 25, 2022. - Abortion rights defenders fanned out across America on June 25 for a second day of protest agains... An abortion rights demonstrator chants slogans as they march near the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, June 25, 2022. - Abortion rights defenders fanned out across America on June 25 for a second day of protest against the Supreme Court's thunderbolt ruling, as state after conservative state moved swiftly to ban the procedure. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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On the two year anniversary of the disastrous Supreme Court Dobbs ruling, which overturned Roe v. Wade, JAMA Pediatrics, a child and adolescent health journal, published a new study on the significant uptick in infant and newborn deaths in the state of Texas.

Texas Republicans, of course, passed one of the most draconian statewide abortion bans in the nation in the lead up to Roe’s overturning, banning abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected — usually around five or six weeks into pregnancy, typically before a woman even knows she is pregnant. The law also created a first-in-the-nation bounty-hunter method of enforcement for reporting anyone who helps a woman get an abortion post-six weeks.

The JAMA Pediatrics study released data on the stark increase in infant and newborn deaths in Texas between 2018 and 2022, compared to data from 28 other states in the same timeframe.

In the year after Texas’ six-week ban was passed, infant death increased by almost 13 percent in the state, from 1,985 infant deaths in 2021 to 2,240 infant deaths in 2022. Nationwide, infant deaths rose by about 2 percent in that same period of time. In a related vein, babies that were born with congenital anomalies and later died in Texas increased by nearly 23 percent, while those births decreased by 3 percent nationwide in the same timeframe.

“This is pointing to a causal effect of the policy; we didn’t see this increase in infant deaths in other states,” Alison Gemmil assistant professor of population, family and reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health wrote in her findings for JAMA.

The report, published on the anniversary of Roe‘s overturning, shines a particularly painful light on just another layer of suffering that women and those who can become pregnant have had to endure since Dobbs put abortion and nearly every other form of reproductive care in the U.S. in harm’s way.

“The specific increase in deaths attributable to congenital anomalies really makes an ironclad link between the change in the law and the terrible outcomes that they’re seeing for infants and families,” Nan Strauss, senior policy analyst of maternal health at the National Partnership for Women & Families told NBC News Monday. “The women and families have to suffer through an excruciating later part of pregnancy, knowing that their baby is likely to die in the first weeks of life.”

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  1. I wonder what other metrics they found. Things like how many children were turned over to Child Welfare. What was the rate of adoption in Texas pre Dobbs vs post Dobbs. How many OB/GYNs were there in TX pre Dobbs vs post Dobbs?

    ETA: No cat pix, but a fawn pix from 2017

  2. Republicans love it when a plan comes together.

  3. The authors of the study decided they needed a study of babies with congenital abnormalities who survived but will require serious ongoing care with associated costs and stress on families. The basic take away is that a lot of severely disabled infants are being born - a lot of them die within days, weeks or months; some survive with lifelong disabilities. The article didn’t say how many of the mothers also suffered health issues, including permanent disability.

  4. Suffering given by the GOP is a feature, not a bug.

  5. I went to a celebration for the Arizona Abortion Access Act tonight. We needed 380,000 signatures to get this act on the ballot. As of today, we have 776,000 and more are coming in every day. They expect to have over 800,000 by the time they’re turned in on July 3.

    This is going to be one of the most lenient abortion laws in the country and it will be an amendment to the Arizona Constitution. So, we can stick it to those fascists on the AZ Supreme Court who were fine and dandy with the1864 abortion prohibition.

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